This book constitutes a timely contribution to the existing literature by presenting a relatively comprehensive, neurobiological account of certain aspects of second language acquisition. It represents the collaborative efforts of members of the Neurobiology of Language Research Group in the Applied Linguistics and TESL Department at UCLA. Members of the group are trained in neurobiology and then use this knowledge to develop biological accounts of various aspects of applied linguistics.
The volume avoids the corticocentric bias that characterizes many brain-language publications--both cortical and subcortical structures receive their appropriate attention. In addition, it demonstrates that enough is presently known about the brain to inform our conceptualizations of how humans acquire second languages, thus, it provides a refreshingly novel, highly integrative contribution to the (second) language acquisition literature.
The goal of the research program was based on the need to draw more links between the neurobiological mechanisms and second language acquisition. As such, the book promotes a neurobiology of language that starts with the brain and moves to behavior. The fundamental insights presented should guide second language acquisition researchers for years to come.
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This is a very good attempt to link neurobiology to what is known from other less biologically oriented disciplines such as cognitive psychology and applied linguistics about second language acquisition. This is a good book for those who are interested in making the leap between typically disparate fields (neurobiology and applied linguistics) in their quest for knowledge and explanatory power in the field of second language learning.
This volume takes the difficult but important step of trying to related current knowledge in the fields of neuroscience and SLA, and its authors should be commended for this. This volume represents an important step in that direction.
—Studies in Second Language Acquisition
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