Nicole Wicha, PhD

Dr. Wicha received a BA in Psychology and a BA in Spanish from the University of Texas at San Antonio, then went on to study experimental psychology briefly at the Sorbonne in Paris. She received her PhD in Cognitive Science from the University of California at San Diego. Dr. Wicha is currently a Professor in the Department of Neuroscience, Developmental and Regenerative Biology at UTSA, where she directs the Brain, Language and Cognition lab. She has been a member of the UTSA faculty since 2004. Dr. Wicha’s research focuses on understanding how the brain comprehends language, with a special focus on the bilingual brain.  Dr. Wicha’s students come from various disciplines, in psychology, neuroscience, linguistics and education. She finds great reward in her students’ growth and success as researchers. Recently her students have been engaged in understanding how bilingual children and adults, as well as second-language learners, use simple arithmetic in each of their languages.  This research has implications for early education for more than 20 percent of children in the US how are bilingual, as well as for understanding the impact of navigating daily life in a second-language as an adult.  Her research makes important contributions to debunking the monolingual brain as the model system and highlights the importance of inclusive practices in STEM research.  Her lab is also highly engaged in science outreach, especially for encouraging girls to consider careers in STEM.