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Maggie Rose Pelella

Maggie Rose Pelella

Undergraduate Student: Pre-Med and Spanish


My name is Maggie Rose Pelella and I am a sophomore studying Pre-Med and Spanish. I am from Binghamton, New York, but despite my Upstate roots, I have always bled blue and white. I followed in my older sibling’s footsteps by making Happy Valley my home away from home. Besides my interests in the sciences and the Spanish language, I enjoy running, cheering on Penn State football, playing with my golden retrievers, and indulging in the ice cream at the Berkey Creamery.

Project Summary:

For the past three semesters I have had the honor of working in Dr. Giuli Dussias’s lab studying the bilingual brain and language processing. This summer I will be traveling to Granada, Spain to conduct research on the bilingual processing of idiomatic expressions. I plan to examine how immersed and non-immersed L2 speakers process idiomatic expressions. Specifically, I am interested in observing the time points at which the literal meaning of an idiom is activated compared to the time points at which the figurative meaning of an idiom is activated. I will do so by manipulating the ISI (InterStimulus Interval) between the so-called prime (i.e., the Spanish idiom) and the target (i.e., the English word that will be presented following the idiom). Figurative language, especially in the form of idioms, comprises a large portion of daily communication. Therefore, knowledge of common idioms is imperative in becoming proficient in any language.