Alex is a PhD student in the Centre for Language Studies at Radboud University and in the Neurobiology of Language Department at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. He is originally from America, where he obtained a Bachelor in Psychology from Rider University and later received his MA in Research in Cognitive Psychology with a focus on language from Rutgers University. Then, he moved to the Netherlands to study Cognitive Neuroscience at Radboud University, focusing on Language in Communication and started his PhD in October 2020.
Bilinguals are capable of expressing themselves in more than one language. Research has shown that all languages are stored in the same place. Our brains must choose which language to use each time we read, write, and listen (or see) a language. Therefore, an important research question is how bilinguals manage to switch so efficiently from one language to another in different situations.
For his PhD, he investigates the influence of various contexts that affect bilingual language switching. Specifically, he hopes to advance the field of bilingualism by adding more naturalistic scenarios (e.g., conversations at a market) with the use of virtual reality and narrative discourse, respectively.
In his spare time, Alex enjoys cooking, baking, being active, and exploring curiosities.
Getting from an idea to the ultimate goal of intellectual gold (knowledge) can be long and winding for each researcher. Nevertheless, this process involves the same four steps, regardless of the question: 1) digging into the papers, 2) then into theories, 3) back into papers, and 4) ultimately running experiments. In steps one to three, scientists can take a personalized approach, choosing which papers and theories to use to develop new studies. In step four, however, scientists try to use the same (or very similar) tools as all other scientists so they can compare and confirm the intellectual gold (knowledge), allowing them to continue updating and developing theories.
Research requires scientists to do all sorts of digging when looking for new scientific discoveries. For example, they dig into papers, then into theories, back into papers, and ultimately into experiments to find intellectual gold (knowledge). However, before digging, experimenters must choose which tool to dig with as there is not a one-size-fits-all tool.