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date: 27 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the neuroimaging literature on language attrition, and how functional and structural aspects of language(s) are modulated under various contact and attrition phenomena. It focuses on the use of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and neural oscillations in studies of language attrition, and how such methods might be used in the future to better understand changes in neural activity corresponding to changes in language. Seminal literature is discussed, describing studies that mapped language maintenance and language loss (i.e., the case of adoptees in Pallier et al., 2003; Ventureyra et al., 2004). The neuroimaging literature on bilingual language control is examined more generally, proposing that the functional and structural patterns of activation and change for the native language observed in experimental paradigms to understand bilingual language processing at large might be used as a test-bed to investigate the earliest stages of L1 attrition.

Keywords: native language attrition, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, structural brain measures, functional brain measures, neural oscillations, magnetoencephalography, longitudinal approaches

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