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“Robot AVatar thermal-Enhanced” learning tool prototype helps children with drastically reduced exposure or experience to language in early life

Dr. Petitto & BL2 Featured on CNN!

Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto was interviewed on CNN’s “Vital Signs.” Watch on CNN, CNN International, CNN Go, or CNN.com!






Laura-Ann Petitto named to Sin Wai-Kin Distinguished Professorship at Hong Kong University

VL2’s Co-PI and Science Director, Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto has been awarded the Sin-Wai-Kin Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities at Hong Kong University.






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?

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What’s New

Adam Stone Successfully Defends Ph.D. Dissertation

Adam Stone, Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto's doctoral student, successfully defended his dissertation on Monday, June 5, 2017! His dissertation project is titled, "Neural Systems for Infant Sensitivity to Rhythmic-Temporal Patterning." This milestone has many notable firsts:...

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New fNIRS Brain Imaging System

Professor Petitto and the entire Brain and Language Laboratory for Neuroimaging (BL2) team are thrilled to announce the upcoming purchase of a new brain imaging system: a new near infrared spectroscopy neuroimaging system, or “fNIRS,” which will replace an aging...

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