The neural correlates of embodied L2 learning Does embodied L2 verb learning affect representation and retention?

  • Zappa Ana
  • Bolger Deirdre
  • Pergandi Jean-Marie
  • Fargier Raphael
  • Mestre Daniel
  • Frenck-Mestre Cheryl


The present study aims to investigate how naturalistic actions in a highly immersive, multimodal, interactive 3D virtual reality (VR) environment may enhance word encoding by recording EEG in a pre/post-test learning paradigm. Both imaging and electrophysiological data have established motor activation during language processing, and behavioral data has shown that coupling word encoding with gestures enhances learning. However, the neural underpinnings of facilitated action language learning have yet to be elucidated. Herein, we couple EEG recording with virtual reality to examine whether “embodied learning”, or learning that occurs using specific physical movements that are coherent with the meaning of new verbs, creates linguistic representations that produce greater motor resonance (a decrease in power in the mu and beta frequency bands), due to stronger motor traces, compared to learning without accompanying specific gestures. We will also investigate whether greater motor resonance while listening to learned action verbs post-learning correlates with improved retention.