Current Primary Research Focus: The Math Brain Study
The Wicha Lab is currently focused on determining the developmental trajectory of multiplication fact learning in bilingual children. Children transition from solving simple multiplication problems procedurally (e.g., counting) to retrieving arithmetic facts from verbal memory. Our goal is to determine if this transition between strategies is quantifiable developmentally as children become experienced multipliers, and if bilingual children make this transition in only one language or in both. The outcome of these studies will determine how both bilingual children learn and use simple multiplications in each of their languages. This work could help identify malleable factors that could increase math fluency in bilingual children, potentially impacting 11.4 million school children, or 21% of the U.S. school population. We also collaborate with other labs to study language in both adult and special populations.