Omar García

Omar Garcia Fall 2017

My name is Omar Garcia, and I am a starting my third year as a Ph.D. student in cognition and cognitive neuroscience at Texas A&M University (TAMU) under the supervision of Dr. Jyotsna Vaid. My area of study deals with mental processes such as perception, thinking, memory, learning, and decision making, among  others. My emphasis is psycholinguistics, which explores how these mental events interact with language processing.

My research interests include the exploration of several language processes that focus on bilingualism and how language shapes specific aspects of human thinking. For instance, I am interested in looking at whether bilingual lexical access is selective (i.e., only one language is activated) or nonselective (i.e., both languages are simultaneously activated) during the comprehension of ambiguous words across languages. Interlingual homographs are words across languages with similar spelling but different meaning such as PAN COOKING UTENSIL in English while BREAD in Spanish.

I am also exploring how bilinguals organize numbers symbols (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 20, 100, 1000, etc.) and number operation facts (e.g., 2 x 4 = 8) in terms of number words (e.g., dos vs. two for Spanish-English bilinguals) in their mental lexicon. Related to this last topic, my latest research interests also include other bilingual mental representations that spring from unique language aspects that are taught early on in life. In particular, I am studying how bilinguals process counting, taboo expressions, inner speech, and praying/meditation. For example, I am currently working on a project investigating how TÚ vs. USTED (i.e., singular forms of the second person in Spanish) might modulate the interpretation of taboo language among Spanish-English bilinguals.


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