Esti Blanco-Elorrieta
Graduate Student, Psychology

I am a second year graduate student at the Neuroscience of Language lab at New York University. My work primarily focuses on two aspects of language cognition. On the one hand, I am committed to unveiling the neural architecture of the multilingual brain. Specifically, I work under Liina Pylkkänen's supervision to disclose the neural bases of multilingual individuals’ ability to switch back and forth between the two linguistic systems they master.

Taking the most naturalistic approach possible, I conduct MEG studies looking into i) bilingual lexical access ii) the commonalities between switching languages in production and comprehension and iii) the neural overlap between language control and general cognitive control. Lately, I have additionally become interested in the neural substrates of adaptive language control mechanisms and the impoverished perception of bilingual speech in noise.

The other part of my work focuses on understanding the neural bases of simple combinatorial semantics. In this regard, I investigate the underpinnings of the compositional rules that dictate the construction of complex mental representations from very simple pieces.

Publications

In Preparation

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., Emmorey, K., & Pylkkänen, L. (in prep.). Decomposing task switching: MEG evidence from bimodal language switching.

  • Under Review

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., Kastner, I., Emmorey, K., & Pylkkänen, L. (under review). A shared neurobiology for building phrases in signed and spoken language.

  • 2017

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., Ferreira, S.V., Del Prato, P., & Pylkkänen, L. (2017). The priming of Basic Combinatory Responses in MEG. Cognition 70, 49-63. doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2017.09.010

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., & Pylkkänen, L. (2017). Bilingual language switching in the lab vs. in the wild: The spatio-temporal dynamics of adaptive language control. Journal of Neuroscience. doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0553-17.2017 [pdf]

    2016

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., & Pylkkänen, L. (2016). Bilingual language control in perception vs. action: MEG reveals comprehension mechanisms in anterior cingulate cortex and domain-general control of production in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(2), 290-301. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2597-15.2016 [pdf] [BibTeX]

  • 2015

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., & Pylkkänen, L. (2015). Composition of complex numbers: Delineating the computational role of the left anterior temporal lobe. NeuroImage. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.08.049 [pdf] [BibTeX]

  • Blanco Elorrieta, E. & Pylkkänen, L. (2015). Brain bases of language selection: MEG evidence from Arabic-English bilingual language production. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9, 27. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2015.00027 [pdf] [BibTeX]

  • 2014

  • Pylkkänen, L., Bemis, D. K., & Blanco Elorrieta, E. (2014). Building phrases in language production: An MEG study of simple composition. Cognition, 133, 371-384. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2014.07.001 [pdf] [BibTeX]

  • Presentations

    2017

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E. Emmorey, K., & Pylkkänen, L. (2017). Turning a language “off” is cognitively effortful, but turning a language “on” is not: MEG evidence from bimodal language switching. Talk to be presented at the Society for the Neurobiology of Language Annual Conference 2017, Baltimore, USA.

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E. (2017). Bilingual language switching in the lab vs. in the wild: The spatio-temporal dynamics of adaptive language control. Talk presented at the Summer school on Bilingualism and Multilingualism. Barcelona, Spain.

  • 2016

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., & Pylkkänen, L. (2016, September). While language-switching in the lab localizes in anterior cingulate cortex, comprehending code-switches in the wild recruits the auditory cortex: MEG evidence from Arab-English bilinguals. Talk presented at the 22nd Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference, Bilbao, Spain.

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., & Pylkkänen, L. (2016, August). While language-switching in the lab localizes in anterior cingulate cortex, comprehending code-switches in the wild begins in auditory cortex. Poster presented at the Eighth Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language, London, UK.

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., Ferreira, V., Del Prato, P., & Pylkkänen, L. (2016, August). The Priming of Basic Combinatory Responses in MEG. Poster presented at the Eighth Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language, London, UK.

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E. (2016, April). Brain bases of bilingual language selection and switching: Evidence from production and comprehension. Invited talk at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY.

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., & Pylkkänen, L. (2016, April). The Priming of Basic Combinatory Responses in MEG. Poster presented at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, New York, NY.

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., & Pylkkänen, L. (2016, March). The Priming of Basic Combinatory Responses in MEG. Talk presented at the 29th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Gainesville, FL.

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., Ferreira, V., Del Prato, P., & Pylkkänen, L. (2016, March). Bilingual language control in perception vs. action: MEG reveals comprehension control mechanisms in anterior cingulate cortex and domain-general control of production in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Poster presented at the 29th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Gainesville, FL.

  • 2015

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., & Pylkkänen, L. (2015, October). Switching in perception vs. action revealed by MEG: Reactive control in the ACC and proactive control in the dorsolateral PFC. Poster presented at the Society for the Neurobiology of Language Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., & Pylkkänen, L. (2015, October). Composition of Complex Numbers: Delineating the computational role of the left anterior temporal lobe. Poster presented at the Society for the Neurobiology of Language Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.

  • Oseki Y., Gwilliams, L., Gaston, P., Blanco-Elorrieta, E., Pykkänen, L., & Marantz, A. (2015, October). Neural dynamics of morphological and phrasal composition. Poster presented at the Society for the Neurobiology of Language Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., & Pylkkanen, L. (2015, March) Switch mechanisms revealed by MEG: what's special about language switching? Talk presented at the Neuroscience of Language Workshop 2015, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., & Pylkkanen, L. (2015, March) Brain bases of language selection: MEG evidence from Arabic-English bilingual language production. Talk presented at NYUAD Annual Research Conference, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

  • Blanco-Elorrieta, E., & Pylkkanen, L. (2015, March) Bilingual language control: domain general in production but not comprehension? Evidence from MEG. Talk presented at the 5th Linguistics in the Gulf Conference 2015, Doha, Qatar.

  • 2014

  • Blanco Elorrieta, E. & Pylkkänen, L. (2014, August). Brain bases of language selection: MEG evidence from Arabic-English bilingual language production. Society for the Neurobiology of Language Annual Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • 2013

  • Martin, C.D., Blanco Elorrieta, E., & Duñabeitia, J.A. (2013, November). An alternative explanation to asymmetrical switch-costs in unbalanced bilinguals. Annual Psychonomics Conference, Toronto, Canada.

  • Blanco Elorrieta, E., Martin, C.D., & Duñabeitia, J.A. (2013). Language switching is more than switching languages. Poster presentation at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language, Donostia-San Sebastián.