Studies on Bilingualism

The Center for the Study of Learning is conducting a research project supported by the National Institutes of Health. The goal is to understand reading and other cognitive functions in the bilingual brain. If you or your child speaks both English and Spanish, you or they might be able to participate.

What are we doing?

  • Participants who are eligible will come to Georgetown University and complete tasks and games that involve reading, math, and other activities.
  • Children must brought to Georgetown University by a parent for testing and non-invasive functional MRI brain scans. These sessions will take several hours each and will involve 2 days of behavioral testing and 1 day of MRI scanning.


  • All testing and non-invasive functional MRI brain scans take place at the Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington D.C.


  • We are currently enrolling interested adult and child participants in this study.
  • Testing takes place over three sessions (these do not have to occur on consecutive days) and is scheduled at your convenience.

What are the costs?

  • The testing and non-invasive brain scans are paid for by a grant awarded to Georgetown University. It does not cost you or your child anything to participate.

Compensation and Reimbursement

  • Your participation in any of our studies provides no direct benefit to you. Adult participants will be paid for their time. Depending on your child's age, they may be paid and/or receive a small gift to compensate for their time.
  • All travel costs to Georgetown University Medical Center from the DC metro area will be reimbursed.

Can you or your child participate?

  • To determine eligibility, we will (i) conduct a phone call to obtain information on you or your child’s medical history and (ii) test you or your child at Georgetown University on IQ, as well as on reading and math abilities in English and Spanish.
  • Eligibility is based on several factors, including:
      1. aged between 18 and 28 for adults, or 8 and 12 years for children
      2. began acquiring both English and Spanish prior to age 6, uses both at home and at school, and can read and write in both languages; minimal exposure to additional languages
      3. no metal in body
      4. no history of neurological or psychiatric disease

Research Study Schedule

  1. Preliminary phone screening
  2. Math, reading, and IQ evaluation at Georgetown University
  3. Further neuropsychological evaluation at Georgetown University
  4. MRI scans at Georgetown University

Apply Today!

Contact Melanie Lozano for more information and to find out if your child potentially meets study criteria.

Para español, contacte a Edith Brignoni-Pérez al 202-687-0760 o escriba en español al correo escrito arriba.

Getting to Georgetown

See our Directions page.