Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Partnerships for International
Research and Education

Ping Li

Ping Li
Chair Professor of Neurolinguistics and Bilingual Studies
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Dean, Faculty of Humanities
Ping Li


Ping Li received his graduate training (1986-1990) from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, the Netherlands. He subsequently did postdoctoral research (1990-1992) at the University of California, San Diego. He taught as a faculty member at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (1992-1996), University of Richmond (1996-2008), Penn State University (2008-2019), and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2019-present). From 2007 to 2009 he served as Director for the Perception, Action, and Cognition Program and for the Cognitive Neuroscience Program at the National Science Foundation. Li's research examines the computational and neural bases that underlie the acquisition and representation of native and non-native languages. It focuses on the dynamic changes that occur in the language learner and the dynamic interactions that occur in the competing language systems over the course of learning. 

Lab/Group Website: 

Brain, Language, and Computation Lab 

Current Grants:

  • 2013-2015 Co-PI, National Research Council, Taiwan: (NT10,000,000 per annum). "Advanced Joint Center for the Study of Learning Sciences" (PI: Yaoting Sung, National Taiwan Normal University, Co-PI, David Monk, Ping Li, Penn State)

Representative Publications:

  • Grosjean, F., & Li, P. (2013). The psycholinguistics of bilingualism. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Li, P., & MacWhinney, B. (2013). Competition model. In C.A. Chapelle (ed.), The encyclopedia of applied linguistics. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (Wiley Online Library: DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0168).
  • Li, P., & Zhao, X. (2013). Connectionism. In C.A. Chapelle (ed.), The encyclopedia of applied linguistics. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (Wiley Online Library: DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0186).
  • Li, P., & Zhao, X. (2013). Connectionist models of second language acquisition. In M.P. Garcia Mayo, M. Junkal, G. Mangado, & M. Adrian (eds.), Contemporary approaches to second language acquisition (pp. 177-198). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: John Benjamins.
  • Li, P. (2013). Computational modeling of bilingualism. A special issue of Bilingualism: Language and Cognition16(2), 241-441.
  • Xu, G., Zhang, L., Shu, H., Wang, X., & Li, P. (2013). Access to lexical meaning in pitch-flattened Chinese sentences: An fMRI study. Neuropsychologia51, 550-556.
  • Yue, Q., Zhang, L., Xu, G., Shu, H., & Li, P. (2013). Task-modulated activation and functional connectivity of the temporal-frontal areas during speech comprehension.Neuroscience237, 87-95.
  • Zhao, X., & Li, P. (2013). Simulating cross-language priming with a dynamic computational model of the lexicon. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition16, 288-303.
  • Li, P. (2012). Neuro-computational approaches to Chinese. In C.F. Sun, W. S-Y Wang, & Y. Tsai (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Chinese Linguistics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  • Li, P., & MacWhinney, B. (2012). Competition model. In C.A. Chapelle (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (in press). Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Li, P., & . Marrongelle, K. (2012). Having Success with NSF: A Practical Guide. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Li, P., Shu, H., & Liu, Y. (2012). Neurocognitive approaches to the processing of Chinese. In J. Huang, A. Li, & A. Simpson (eds.), Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Chinese Linguistics. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Li, P., & Tokowicz, N. (2012). The psycholinguistics of second language acquisition. In P. Robinson (ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Second Language Acquisition. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis/Routledge.
  • Li, P., & Zhao, X. (2012). Connectionist approaches to bilingual lexical representation. In J. Altarriba & R. Heredia (eds.), Understanding Bilingual Memory: Theory and Application. Springer Science Publishers.
  • Li, P., & Zhao, X. (2012). Connectionism. In M. Aronoff (ed.), Oxford bibliographies online. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. (
  • Yang, J., & Li, P. (2012). Brain networks of explicit and implicit learning. PLoS One7, e42993. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042993
  • Zhang, Y., Zhang, L., Shu, H., Xi, J., Wu, H., Zhang, Y., & Li, P. (2012). Universality of categorical perception deficit in developmental dyslexia: An investigation of Mandarin Chinese tones. Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology.
  • Zhang, L., Xi, J., Wu, H., Shu, H., & Li, P. (2011). Electrophysiological evidence of categorical perception of Chinese lexical tones in attentive condition. NeuroReport23, 35-39.
  • Yang, J., Tan, L., & Li, P. (2011). Lexical representation of nouns and verbs in the late bilingual brain. Journal of Neurolinguistics24, 674-682.
  • He, H.B., Li, P., & Wang, H.W. (2011). Advances in knowledge discovery and data analysis for artificial intelligence. Journal of Experimental and Artificial Intelligence23 (1), 1-136.
  • Zhang, L., Xi, J., Xu, G., Shu, H., Wang, X., & Li, P. (2011). Cortical dynamics of acoustic and phonological processing in speech processing. PLoS Onee20963. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020963.
  • Liu, Y., Hao, M., Li, P., & Shu, H. (2011). Timed picture naming norms for Mandarin Chinese. PLoS One6, e16505.
  • Zhao, X., Li, P., & Kohonen, T. (2011). Contextual self-organizing map: Software for constructing semantic representation. Behavior Research Methods43, 77-88.
  • Liu, Y., Li, P., Shu, H., Zhang, Q., & Chen, L. (2010). Structure and meaning in Chinese: An ERP study of idioms. Journal of Neurolinguistics23, 615-530.
  • Xi, J., Zhang, L., Shu, H., Zhang, Y., & Li, P. (2010). Categorical perception of lexical tones in Chinese revealed by mismatch negativity. Neuroscience170, 223-231.
  • Zhang, L., Shu, H., Zhou, F., Wang, X., & Li, P. (2010). Common and distinct neural substrates for the perception of speech rhythm and intonation. Human Brain Mapping31, 1106-1116.
  • Zhao, X., & Li, P. (2010). Bilingual lexical interactions in an unsupervised neural network model. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism13, 505-524.
  • Li, P. (2009). Lexical organization and competition in first and second languages: Computational and neural mechanisms. Cognitive Science33, 629-664.
  • Li, P., Zhao, X., & MacWhinney, B. (2007). Dynamic self-organization and early lexical development in children. Cognitive Science31, 581-612.
  • Hernandez, A., & Li, P. (2007). Age of acquisition: Its neural and computational mechanisms. Psychological Bulletin133, 638-650.
  • Li, P., Farkas, I., & MacWhinney, B. (2004). Early lexical acquisition in a self-organizing neural network. Neural Networks17, 1345-1362.
  • Li, P., Jin, Z., & Tan, L. (2004). Neural representations of nouns and verbs in Chinese: An fMRI study. NeuroImage21, 1533-1541.
  • Hernandez, A., Li, P., & MacWhinney, B. (2005). The emergence of competing modules in bilingualism. Trends in Cognitive Sciences9, 220-225.