Institute of Education


Multilanguage and Cognition Lab

Understanding how multilanguage acquisition can reshape our mind.

The Multilanguage and Cognition Lab (MULTAC) is formed by a team of researchers interested in studying multilanguage acquisition and its effects on cognitive development across the lifespan. 

" Language is literally the stuff of life. The more you can speak of other people's languages, the more you can be part of their lives and enrich your own."
Lab members

Academic staff

PhD students

  • Ms Orianna Bairaktari
  • Ms Xuran Han
  • Ms Jana Parolkova

Collaborators from other institutions

  • Professor Peter Bright, Anglia Ruskin University
  • Dr Julia Ouzia, King's College
  • Dott. Andrea Ceccolini, Independent researcher affiliated to MULTAC
Research projects


Worldwide research in the last three decades has shown that multilingualism is the norm - more than half of the world's population is estimated to speak more than one language - and that acquiring and using two or more languages might be beneficial for children's cognitive development as well as serving as a protective factor for the brain when we age.

It is therefore crucial to understand how multilingualism transforms our brain in both early and later stages of life - which is the aim of our lab.

Experimental research

Our lab conducts experimental research using modern technologies such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).




Filippi, R., Ceccolini, A., Periche-Tomas, E., Papageorgiou, A., Bright, P. (2020). Developmental trajectories of control of verbal and non-verbal interference in speech comprehension in monolingual and multilingual children. Cognition

Phelps, J., Filippi, R. (2019). The multilingual world: building a bridge between science and education. Educational neuroscience volume on lifespan, individual differences, and enhancing cognition. Denis Mareschal, Iroise Dumontheil and Michael Thomas. Psychology Press (Taylor & Francis)


Ouzia, J., Bright, P., Filippi, R. (2019). Attentional control in bilingualism: an exploration of the effects of trait anxiety and rumination on inhibition. Behavioural Sciences.

Bright, P., Filippi, R (2019). Perspective on the Bilingual Advantage: Challenges and Opportunities. Frontiers in Psychology, 
doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01346

Filippi, R., D’Souza, D. &  Bright, P. (2019). A Developmental Approach to Bilingual Research: The Effects of Multi-language Experience from Early Infancy to Old Age. Contemporary Studies in Bilingualism and Multilingualism (Masayo Yamamoto Eds). Sage Publications

Bright, P., Ouzia, J., Filippi, R. (2019). Multilingualism and Metacognitive Processing. In John W. Schwieter (Ed.) The Handbook of the Neuroscience of Multilingualism. Wiley-Blackwell

Periche-Tomas, E., Papageorgiou, A., Bairaktari, O., Bright, P., Filippi, R. (2019). Multilingualism and Cognitive Development. The Oxford Handbook of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (Oxford University Press)


Filippi, R., D'Souza, D., & Bright, P. (2018). A Developmental Approach to Bilingual Research: The Effects of Multi-language Experience from Early Infancy to Old Age. International Journal of Bilingualism, 1-13

Filippi, R. (2018). Bilingual cognition and language: The state of the science across its subfield. First Language, 38, 669-671. doi:10.1177/0142723718802034

Papageorgiou, A., Bright, P., Periche Tomas, E., & Filippi, R. (2018). Evidence against a cognitive advantage in the older bilingual population. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1-10 doi:10.1177/1747021818796475

Mercure, E., Quiroz, I., Goldberg, L., Bowden-Howl, H., Coulson, K., Gliga, T., . . . Macsweeney, M. (2018). Impact of language experience on attention to faces in infancy: Evidence from unimodal and bimodal bilingual infants. Frontiers in Psychology, 9 ARTN 1943. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01943

D'Souza, D., & Filippi, R. (2018). Progressive modularization: Reframing our understanding of typical and atypical language development. First Language. 37, 518-529. doi:10.1177/0142723717720038

Naeem, K., Filippi, R., Periche-Tomas, E., Papageorgiou, A., & Bright, P. (2018). The Importance of Socioeconomic Status as a Modulator of the Bilingual Advantage in Cognitive Ability. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, ARTN 1818. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01818


D'Souza, D. & Filippi, R. (2017). Progressive modularization: reframing our understanding of typical and atypical language development. First Language Acquisition.


Folke, T., Ouzia, J., Bright, P., De Martino, B. & Filippi, R. (2016). A Bilingual Disadvantage in Metacognitive processes. Cognition, 150, 119-132

Kerrigan, L., Thomas, M.S.C., Bright, P., & Filippi, R. (2016). Evidence of an advantage in visual-spatial memory for bilingual compared to monolingual speakers. Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, 1-11


Filippi, R., Morris, J., Richardson, F., Bright, P., Thomas, M.S.C, Karmiloff-Smith, A., and Marian, V. (2015). Bilingual children show an advantage in controlling verbal interference during spoken language comprehension. Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, 18(03), 490-501.

Filippi, R. (2015). Antecollis: case report. Reactions, 1573, 182-17.


Filippi, R., Rasetti, M., Lenzi, M., Bright, P. (2014). Possible effects of pramipexole on neck muscles in a patient with Parkinson's disease. Oxford Medical Case Report, 2014(1), 8-10


Filippi, R., Karaminis, T., Thomas, M.S.C. (2013). Bilingual language switching in production: empirical and computational studies. Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, 17, 294-315


Filippi, R., Leech, R., Thomas, M.S.C., Green, D.W., and Dick, F.,  (2012). A bilingual advantage in controlling language interference during sentence comprehension. Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, 15(04), 858-872


Filippi, R., Richardson, F., Dick, F., Leech, R., Green, D.W., Thomas, M.S.C., and Price, C.J.  (2011). The right posterior paravermis and the control of verbal interference. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(29): 10732-10740


Richardson, F., Thomas, M.S.C, F., Filippi, R., Harth, H., and Price, C.J. (2009). Contrasting effects on vocabulary knowledge on temporal and parietal brain structures across lifespan. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 83, 109-113.

" To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world."

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