Prof. Jennie Pyers’ research focuses on the relationship between language and cognition. In particular, she examines both language-general and language-specific effects on human cognition. To investigate which domains of cognition are impaired when language acquisition is delayed, she works with language-delayed deaf children and Deaf adults who have learned an emerging sign language, Nicaraguan Sign Language. She also investigates how experience with a sign language affects spatial cognition and categorization. Her recent research interests also include language processing in hearing bimodal bilinguals—Children of Deaf Adults who are fluent in both a signed and a spoken language—and the relationship between gesture and spatial cognition.
Language-General Effects on Cognition:
False-belief understanding, visual perspective taking, & spatial cognition in learners of Nicaraguan Sign Language
Language-Specific Effects on Cognition:
Mental rotation & spatial categorization in fluent users of American Sign Language
Language production and comprehension in bilinguals fluent in a signed and spoken language
Cognitive effects of bimodal bilingualism