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Arredondo, Maria M

Maria M Arredondo

Assistant Professor, Research Lab Director (Academic)
Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, Population Research Center


Office Location

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

Education and Academic Positions

Faculty Research Associate, Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin

Research Scientist, Haskins Laboratories at Yale University

National Science Foundation (NSF) Postdoctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia and Haskins Laboratories

Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Michigan

M.S., Psychology, University of Michigan

B.S., Psychology and minor in Sociology, University of Houston


My personal experiences as a child immigrant and a second language learner have helped me understand the links between language and cognition. In my research, I seek to advance fundamental knowledge on bilingual children’s cognition, and inform families and schools on how providing immigrant, diverse and multilingual children with the opportunity to maintain their languages and cultures leads to academic success. In the contexts of increased global migration and growth of multilingual communities, research-based models of child development that include bilingualism in context are vital for addressing the needs of language acquisition and cognitive development.

My research focuses on understanding how infants, toddlers and school-age children acquire their language(s). I am especially interested in why some children can become proficient bilinguals, while others seem to struggle. To test these questions, I use functional near-infrared spectroscopy to study the cognitive and neural networks that support bilingualism. I am also interested in how children come to learn and understand from their culture(s). Through all these mechanisms, I investigate what allows diverse and multilingual children to learn their languages and provides them with the skills to succeed academically. 

The methods of my studies include infant and child-friendly experimental designs, neuroimaging (functional near-infrared spectroscopy, also known as fNIRS), standardized assessments of language abilities, surveys, and one-on-one qualitative child-friendly interviews.


 Selected Publications

Arredondo, M. M., Aslin, R. N., & Werker, J. F. (2021). Bilingualism alters infants’ cortical organization for attentional orienting mechanisms. Developmental Science, e13172. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/desc.13172 

Arredondo, M. M. (2021). Shining a light on cultural neuroscience: Recommendations on the use of fNIRS to study how sociocultural contexts shape the brain. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Weatherhead, D., Arredondo, M. M., Nácar Garcia, L., & Werker, J. F. (2021). The Role of Audiovisual Speech in Fast-Mapping and Novel Word Retention in Monolingual and Bilingual 24-Month-Olds. Brain Sciences11(1), 114. https://www.mdpi.com/963042 

Arredondo, M. M., Hu, X., Satterfield, T., Tsutsumi Riobóo, A., Gelman, S. A., & Kovelman, I. (2019). Bilingual effects on lexical selection: a neurodevelopmental perspective. Brain & Language, 195, 104640. Doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2019.104640

Arredondo, M. M.& Gelman, S. A. (2019). Do varieties of Spanish influence U.S. Spanish-English bilingual children’s friendship judgments? Child Development, 90, 655-671.Doi: 10.1111/cdev.12932

Arredondo, M. M., Hu, X., Seifert, E., Satterfield, T., & Kovelman, I. (2018). Bilingual exposure enhances left IFG specialization for language in children. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1-19.Doi: 10.1017/S1366728918000512

Reh, R., Arredondo, M. M.,& Werker, J. (2018). Understanding individual variation in levels of second language attainment through the lens of critical period mechanisms. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition,1-2. Doi: 10.1017/S1366728918000263

Tran, C. D., Arredondo, M. M., & Yoshida, H. (2018). Early executive function: the influence of culture and bilingualism. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition,1-19Doi: 10.1017/S1366728918000160

Arredondo, M. M., Hu, X., Satterfield, T., & Kovelman, I. (2017) Bilingualism alters children’s frontal lobe functioning for attentional control. Developmental Science. Doi: 10.1111/desc.12377

Arredondo, M. M.,Rosado, M. & Satterfield, T. (2016). Understanding ethnic identity development and its impact on Spanish literacy for U.S. Latino children. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 16, 245-266Doi: 10.1163/15685373-12342179

Kremin*, L., Arredondo*, M. M., Hsu, L. S., Satterfield, T., & Kovelman, I. (2016). The effects of Spanish heritage language literacy on English reading for Spanish-English bilingual children in the U.S. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. Doi: 10.1080/13670050.2016.1239692 *Shared first-authorship

Tran, C. D., Arredondo, M. M., & Yoshida, H. (2015). Differential effects of bilingualism and culture on early attention: A longitudinal study in the U.S., Argentina, and Vietnam. Frontiers in Psychology: Language Sciences. Doi:  10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00795


2020                SRCD Small Grants for Early Career Scholars. PI."Bilingual bebé: Linking neuro-cognitive mechanisms to dual-language learning."

2020                Rising STARs Program at the University of Texas at Austin

2018-2020       National Science Foundation (NSF SBE SPRF) Postdoctoral Fellowship; $138,000 “Infants’ emerging functional specialization in bilingual language acquisition and attentional processes.” Co-PIs: Janet F. Werker, Richard N. Aslin

2018-2020       Killam Laureate Postdoctoral Fellowship at The University of British Columbia

2012-2017       National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP)



HDF 315L – Research methods in human development & family sciences 

I am always happy to support undergraduate and graduate research opportunities, please feel free to reach out.