Ana Oliveira-Beuses


Ana Oliviera- Beuses
Mentor: Dr. Lisa Scott
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
 
"I have always been curious. Since very early in school I have enjoyed learning not only to get a passing grade but to actually understand how things work. In high school I remember having a class about human resources management and hear the professor talk about personalities. This was the first time I was exposed to Psychology and not long after that I went to my school's library to get any books related to the topic. I read a short book about social psychology and how research is conducted in the field. I remember thinking it was fascinating and after starting college I was drawn to the scientific method and what experiments in psychology can tell us about the human mind. Now I want to study bilingualism and second language acquisition focusing on Portuguese, my native language. I want to be able to understand how the brain works when it is acquiring a second language and how to facilitate that process. My goal is to apply my research to educational policies."

Major

Psychology

Minor

Linguistics

Research Interests

  • Psycholinguistics
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuroimaging

Academic Awards

  • Jefferson Award for the Social Sciences 2015
  • Florida College Transfer Academic Scholarship 2015
  • Florida Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (FGLSAMP) 2015
  • University Scholars Program 2016

Organizations

  • Psi Chi Honor's Society
  • Gators against Human Trafficking
  • Brazilian Student Association

Volunteer

  • Mentor UF
  • Genetic Counseling office at Shands
  • Fundraising for Created

Hobbies and Interests

  • Sand volleyball
  • Watching TV shows
  • Reading
  • Cooking

Research Description

Un-Strooping the Stroop Effect: Can bilinguals reduce Stroop interference through other-language mediation?

The Stroop effect is a cognitive task created by J. Ridley Stroop (Stroop, 1935) to measure interference between two cognitive processes, namely reading and color naming. Variations of the task continue to be used as a way to understand the roles of speed of processing and selective attention in cognition (MacLeod, 1991). Typically, participants take longer to name or respond to incongruent trials where color words are presented in a different color to their meaning (blue presented in green; MacLeod, 1991).  Following results from a previous study, we hypothesize that bilinguals may reduce Stroop interference on response-eligible stimuli by using the non-test language as an alternative response mapping strategy, i.e. bilinguals may recruit Spanish to map their button responses (i.e., associate responses to azul, amarillo, verde) thereby diminishing the Stroop effect. To investigate that, we will be recruiting English monolingual and Spanish-English bilingual speakers and present them with the Stroop task and place labels above the response buttons that will either be Spanish color-words or English prototypical color words (i.e., pea, sun, ocean). Our intention is to test whether bilinguals can effectively use direct language translations to reduce Stroop interference on response-eligible trials and whether monolinguals can employ a similar strategy with same-language prototypical color words.