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Rice supplement - "linguistic area of cognitive science and psychology"

lapetitecygne 7 / 16  
Jan 2, 2011   #1
With the understanding that the choice of academic school you indicated is not binding, explain why you are applying to that particular school of study. Max. 2000 characters

Born into a family of medical scientists, I have frequently been asked if I would follow their footsteps. It didn't take many years of dinner-time conversations to realize that I spoke more eagerly about the newest books in Language Arts than the latest owl pellet dissections in Science. Through various high school experiences, two areas I have most interest in exploring are the linguistic area of cognitive science and psychology in the School of Social Sciences.

Growing up in a Chinese-speaking home, I quickly developed bilingual and bicultural aptitudes. Later opportunities to learn French and understand English etymology through a summer course showed me that I actually loved all facets of language, including how the brain perceives knowledge of language. Within the School of Social Sciences, my first stop will be the Department of Cognitive Science, focusing on the acquisition and development of linguistic universals. Research at Rice's Center for the Study of Languages will also allow me to simultaneously keep strong ties with both the humanities side of linguistics and the neurological side of cognitive science.

In a broader sense, my interest in language is not so different from the questions I ask in psychology, such as how sounds and lights shape learning. As a research assistant in a psychology and neuroscience lab, I have been studying the role of certain parts of the brain in lab rat learning and behavior. Considering that what makes humanity special is its ability to think logically and coherently, my findings, if I am given the opportunity to continue my studies as an undergraduate, may be applicable to human learning in recognition of everything from objects to languages to musical instruments.

Thus, I come to Rice University like Alice in Wonderland chasing the White Rabbit. I see the future as my date with research and interdisciplinary study opportunities galore. I'm not late after all; the journey down this rabbit hole is just beginning.

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