I am a cognitive psychologist and psycholinguist. My research program focuses on bilingualism; particularly on how knowing and using multiple languages can shape cognition in terms of creativity, problem solving, decision-making, and language access in Spanish-English bilingual Latinx populations. I am interested in observing how individual differences within bilinguals, particularly early linguistic and cultural experiences (e.g., informal translation–language brokering) can have long-term cognitive and linguistic repercussions. I am committed to expanding the current psycholinguistic literature on bilingualism to include more examination with regards to the effects of individual differences in the areas of creativity, code-switching, cross-language activation, decision-making, and problem solving. A more recent area of research interest has been how language brokering experience may affect health literacy and health outcomes (e.g., exercise, food choice) in Latinx populations. Additionally, I am committed to understanding how language, culture, and gender intersect within studies of bilingualism and how this can ultimately influence health and education policy with regards to individuals and groups who grow up speaking, understanding, and knowing more than one language.
Currently, I am an assistant professor in the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where I am also the director of the LLAMA: Psycholinguistic and Sociolinguistic Laboratory. I also hold courtesy appointments in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.