Researchers at the BOLD Lab study how a child’s brain develops and supports complex cognitive abilities such as learning language and learning to read. We want to understand how a child’s early life environment can impact development and change the brain’s capacity for learning. Our research focuses on different childhood experiences such as (1) growing up bilingual, (2) learning spoken and/or signed (e.g. American Sign Language) languages, and (3) growing up in communities with high risks of illiteracy. We use different, exciting neuroimaging technologies (fMRI and functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy; fNIRS) in combination with the latest genetic and behavioral tools of cognitive science to gain new insights into the biological underpinnings of language, reading, and human cognition!