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Dr. Anat Prior

Dr. Anat Prior

Head of Laboratory

Current Status

Research Interests
I am interested in within- and cross-language semantic conceptual representation and in the interplay between executive control, bilingualism and second language learning. In recent and ongoing projects my students and I are examining factors influencing translation choice in behavioral tasks and in large language corpora; the implications of grammatical class for meaning representation and bilingual performance; the detailed nature of executive control advantages accrued by bilinguals, with specific emphasis on cognitive flexibility; and how individual differences in executive control and working memory might further our understanding of the variability in second language learning outcomes. 

Current Projects
Executive function in bilingual children (pre-school and 6th grade) with different levels of language proficiency
Bilingual advantages in executive control in young adults
Individual differences foreign language learning: the importance of executive control
Predictors of reading comprehension in English as a foreign language in Israeli adolescents
Numerical processing in first and second language for speakers of Arabic, Hebrew and English
The joint influences of ADHD and bilingualism on executive function
Cross-linguistic influences on semantic processing
The representation of abstract and concrete words in the bilingual lexicon
Examining the development of reading comprehension in English as a foreign language among Hebrew speaking adolescents. The project has identified areas of difficulty in English that should be targeted in instruction.
A standardized reading comprehension test. Research team: Prof. Michal Shany, Prof. Tami Katzir, Dr. Anat Prior, Dr. Orly Lipka, Ms. Shira Bleicher: No standardized test currently exists for reading comprehension in Israeli schools, and as such, the Laboratory sees the development of such a test a prime goal for the whole Israeli educational system. 2014-2015 will be dedicated to advancement of the tool.

Year Degree and Name of the Institution
1997 BA in Psychology and an Interdisciplinary Honor Program in the Humanities (Summa Cum Laude) Hebrew University Emphasis: Experimental psychology and philosophy of language.
1999 MA in Neuropsychology (Magna Cum Laude) Hebrew University. Emphasis: Neuropsychology of memory and language.
2005 PhD in Cognitive Neuropsychology Hebrew University. Thesis: "Exploring the nature of associations: Semantic factors in the formation of word associations". Advisor: Prof. Shlomo Bentin. Awarded March 2005.

Current Courses
  1. Cognitive Psychology (Undergraduate Level)
  2. English as a Second language (Learning Disabilities MA Program)
  3. Scientific Writing (Learning Disabilities MA Program)
  4. Bilingualism and second language learning: Research Seminar (Learning Disabilities MA Program)