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Michal - Secondment at the University of Bangor

By Michal Korenar

When I arrived in Bangor in Wales, I was stroke by the natural beauty this lovely place has to offer. Green meadows, happy sheep and the Welsh seashore with dozens of bird sorts marked a start of every day of my secondment at Bangor University. As much as I was grateful that I could do my first secondment in such a lovely environment, the choice for the Bangor University was not motivated merely by the beautiful nature. Wales is a country with two official languages, Welsh and English, where research on multilingualism has its obvious relevance. In the ERP lab of Guillaume Thierry, they focus on how knowledge of more languages impacts on our cognition, but also how the use of various languages changes the way we experience the world. Prof Guillaume Thierry was teaching me how to use the method of encephalography. At the day when I arrived, he introduced me to his colleague Dr Yang Li. After electrifying discussions about our research interests, we decided to set up a brand-new study rather than getting involved in one of the ongoing projects in the lab. Our study investigates a so far unexplored three-way relationship between attention, bilingualism, and emotion. I gained first-hand experience of how setting up a new project works in Thierry’s lab. This allows me to compare different approaches to scientific work across various places. Our collaboration proved a success as we were able to create the experimental design, use corpus analysis to select the language stimuli for our experiment and collect the data of 23 participants during my six-weeks stay in Bangor. The lovely people in the lab have made this challenging journey an enjoyable experience as they opened not only the doors to their lab but also their hearts.

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