My research investigates how people learn to use language to convey information about perceived events. My research investigates language learning in both children and adults, with the goal of understanding how children and adults differ in their language learning competencies and language learning strategies. A better understanding of these differences could allow for the creation of better techniques for training adults to use a second language. As part of this general goal of understanding how people learn to represent events in language, my research also examines the nature of event representations in nonlinguistic cognition. A better understanding of the mapping between event representations in language and in nonlinguistic cognition could allow for a better understanding of why some aspects of language learning are relatively easy (because they can be directly mapped onto nonlinguistic cognitive representations) and why some aspects of language learning are very difficult (because no such direct mappings are possible).
Kersten, A.W., Meissner, C.A., Lechuga, J., Schwartz, B.L., Albrechtsen, J.S., & Iglesias, A. (in press). English speakers attend more strongly than Spanish speakers to manner of motion when classifying novel objects and events. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
Kersten, A.W., Earles, J.L. (in press). Effects of aging, distraction, and response pressure on the binding of actors and actions. Psychology and Aging.
Kersten, A.W., & Smith, L.B. (2002). Attention to novel objects during verb learning. Child Development, 73, 93-109.