Petitto Brain and Language Center for Neuroimaging (BL2)
Welcome to the Petitto Brain & Language Laboratory for Neuroimaging!
Founder and Scientific Director: Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto
The state-of-the-art Brain and Language Laboratory for Neuroimaging is led by Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto, the Science Director and Co-Principal Investigator of the National Science Foundation and Gallaudet University’s Science of Learning Center, “Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2).” The Laboratory features one of the world’s most advanced brain imaging systems, called functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), as well as an Infant Habituation Lab, Video-Recording and Editing studios, Video-Conferencing facilities, Experimental and Observation Chambers, Library, and more. The new Laboratory is the site of neuroimaging and behavioral studies that provide knowledge about the biological mechanisms and environmental factors, which, together, make possible the human capacity to learn and convey language, achieve reading mastery, and become a skilled bilingual. Our discoveries have included answers to the following questions: What is the impact of learning two languages on the developing brain? When is the optimal time to expose a young child to two languages and two reading systems? What are the most optimal programs for teaching a young bilingual child to read? What are the normal developmental stages of bilingual language and reading acquisition? How can we ensure that bilingual children are achieving the greatest academic success?