Faculty Directory

Weiyi Ma

Weiyi Ma

Assistant Professor

Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences

(THES)-AFLS-Human Environ Science

Phone: 479-575-4305

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My research is empirical in nature and is based on both experimental research and corpus studies through an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural perspective. 


- Child language and cognitive development 

- Perception of speech and music

- The influence of music training on speech development 

- The influence of computer game experience on human development 

2017 Fall: HDFS 2433 Child Development 

Ph.D. in Education, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware

M.A. in Linguistics, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware

M.A. in Linguistics, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China

B.A. China West Normal University, Nanchong, China



Journal articles: 

Zhou, PΨ., & Ma, WΨ. (in press). Children's use of morphological cues in real-time event representation. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research. (Ψ joint first author)

Gong, D., Ma, W., Gong, J., He, L., Dong, L., Zhang, D., Li, J., Luo, C., & Yao, D. (2017). Action video game experience related to altered larger-scale white matter networksNeural Plasticity. 7543686.

Ma, W., Zhou, P., Singh, L., & Gao, L. (2017). Spoken word recognition in young tone language learners: Age-dependent effects of segmental and suprasegmental variation. Cognition. 159, 139-155. 

Ma, W., Zhou, P., Crain, S., & Gao, L. (2017). Lexical tones and word learning in Mandarin-speaking children at three years of age. Journal of Electronic Science and Technology.15. 25-32.

Gong, D., He, H., Ma, W., Liu, D., Huang, M., Dong, L., ... & Yao, D. (2016). Functional integration between salience and central executive networks: A role for action video game experience. Neural Plasticity, 675046.

Ma, W., & Thompson, W.F. (2015). Human emotions track changes in the acoustic environment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 112, 14563-14568.

Gong, D., He, H., Liu, D., Ma, W., Dong, L., Luo, C., & Yao, D. (2015). Enhanced functional connectivity and increased gray matter volume of insula related to action video game playing. Scientific Reports, 5, 9763. 

Yao, D., Wu, D., Lai, Y., Gong, D., Luo, C., Lu, J., Ma, W., Yang, H., Xu, P. (2014). Neural substrates of music investigated by EEG and fMRI. Chinese Journal of Biomedical Engineering, 33, 673-676. (In Chinese)

Yang, HΨ., Ma, WΨΦ., Gong, D., Hu, J., & Yao, DΦ. (2014). A longitudinal study on children’s music training experience and academic development. Scientific Reports, 4, 5854. (Ψ joint first author, Φ joint correspondence author)

Ma, W., Lai, Y., Zheng, X., Yang, H., & Yao, D. (2013). Electroencephalogram gamma band activity during the perception of music key levels. NeuroReport, 24, 186-189.

Golinkoff, R. MΨ., Ma, WΨΦ., Song, L., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2013). Twenty-five years using the Intermodal Preferential Looking Paradigm to study language acquisition: What have we learned? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8, 316-339. (Ψ joint first author, Φ correspondence author)

Gong, D., Ma, W., Kendrick, K., Hu, Q., & Yao, D. (2013). How cognitive plasticity resolves brain’s information processing dilemma. Scientific Reports, 3, 2860. 

Tian, Y., Ma, W., Xu, P., Tian, C., & Yao. D. (2013). Brain oscillations and EEG scalp networks of listening to music with different tempi. Neuroscience Bulletin, 6, 731-736.

Gong, D., Ma, W., Hu, J., Hu, Q., Lai, Y., & Yao, D. (2012). The flexibility of partial information transmission in the auditory channel: The role of perceptual discriminability. Psychophysiology, 49, 1394-1400. 

Ma, W., Lai, Y., Yuan, Y., Wu, D., & Yao, D. (2012). Electroencephalogram variations in alpha band during tempo-specific perception. NeuroReport, 23,125-128.

Hu, J., Gao, S., Ma, W., Yao, D. (2012). Dissociation of tone and segment processing in Mandarin idioms. Psychophysiology, 49, 1179-1190.

Ma, W., Golinkoff, R. M., Houston, D., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2011). Word learning in infant-and adult-directed speech. Language Learning and Development, 7, 209-225. [The 5th most read and the 10th most cited article ever published in this journal]

Hu, J., Zhang, W., Zhao, C., Ma, W., Lai, Y., & Yao, D. (2011). Non-native homonym processing: an ERP measurement. International Journal of Bioelectromagnetism, 13, 207-211.

Lai, Y., Ma, W., Duan S., & Yao, D. (2011). Involuntary processing of timbre: A mismatch negativity study. International Journal of Bioelectromagnetism, 13, 212-216.

Ma, W. (2010). How does meaning specificity affect verb learning and extension? Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, 17, 124-126. 

Seston, R., Golinkoff, R. M., Ma, W., Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2009). Vacuuming with my mouth?: Children’s ability to comprehend novel extensions of familiar verbs. Cognitive Development, 24, 113-124.

Ma, W., Golinkoff, R. M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., McDonough, C., & Tardif, T. (2009). Imageability predicts the age of acquisition of verbs in Chinese. Journal of Child Language, 36, 405-423. [The 2nd most cited article published by this journal in 2009]


Conference Proceedings: 

Ma., W. Gao., L., & Zhou, P. (2017). A reduced sensitivity to tones in young tone learners’ word recognition. In M. LaMendola, & J. Scott (Eds.), Proceedings of the 41th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 436-442). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Hu, J., Ma, W., Gong, D., Gao, S., & Yao, D. (2011). Dissociation of tone and segment processing of Mandarin Chinese contrasts. In K. Mattock, D. Burnham & P. Mok (Eds.), Proceedings of Psycholinguistic Representation of Tone Conference 2011 (pp. 5-8). Hong Kong: LSHK.

Ma, W., Lai, Y., Zheng, X., Yang, H., Hu, J., & Yao, D. (2011). EEG evidence for directional asymmetry in Chinese nonmusicians' musical pitch perception. In K. Mattock, D. Burnham & P. Mok (Ed.), Proceedings of Psycholinguistic Representation of Tone Conference 2011(pp. 92-95). Hong Kong: LSHK.

Song, L., Nazzi, T., Moukawane, S., Golinkoff, R.M., Stahl, A., Ma, W., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2010). Sleepy vs. sleeping: Preschoolers’ sensitivity to morphological cues for adjectives and verbs in English and French. In K. Franich, K.M. Iserman & L. Keil (Eds.), Proceedings of the 34th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 409-420). Somerville: Cascadilla Press.

Ma, W., & Wong, W. (2009). Does meaning specificity facilitate verb learning and extension? In J. Chandlee, M. Franchini, S. Lord & G. Rheiner (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 325-332). Somerville: Sascadilla Press.


Book Reviews: 

Wong, W., Golinkoff, R.M., Ma, W., Song, L., & Strober, D.E. (2008). Review of D. Elkind (Ed.), The power of play: How spontaneous, imaginative activities lead to happier, healthier childrenJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47, 1099-1100.

Brandone, A., Golinkoff, R.M., Ma, W., Salkind, S.J., & Zosh, J. (2005). Review of J. M. Mandler (Ed.), The foundations of mind. Journal of Child Language, 32, 702-708.


2017 - present: Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas

2014 - 2017: Associate Investigator, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

2010 - 2013: Associate Professor, University of Electronic Science & Technology of China, Chengdu, China



2015-present: Editorial Board Member, Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group), Division: Neuroscience

2012-present: Consultant, International General Education Curriculum Program, Chinese Ministry of Education

2010-present: Ad hoc reviewer: Applied Psycholinguistics, Behavior Research Methods, Biological Psychology, Child Development, Frontiers in Psychology – Language Sciences, Infancy, Journal of Child Language, Language Learning, Music Perception, Royal Society Open Science, Scientific Reports



2017-2019: One Hundred Talents Program Senior Research Fellowship, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. Ma., W.

2016-2019: Macquarie University Strategic Infrastructure Scheme Grant, Future Proofing Macquarie’s Speech Perception Laboratory. (AUD $130,000). Benders, T., Demuth, K., Cox, F., Sharma, M., Tsukuda, K., Proctor, M., Szakay, A., Yuen, I., Xu, N., Schmidt, E., Koring, L., Ma, W., & Kung, C.

2014-2017: ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders Research Fellowship, Department of Cognitive Science, Macquarie University. (≈ AUD $300,000). Ma, W. (This early career researcher fellowship is part of the ARC project - ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders ([CE110001021]; 2011 - 2017; AUD $21,000,000). 

2011-2014: Chinese Ministry of Education Social Science Funding [11YJC880079], Language acquisition: Early detection and intervention of language developmental difficulties. (RMB ¥80,000), Ma, W., Hu, J., Gao, S., & Su, Y.

2011-2014: Chinese Ministry of Education National Key Projects [GPA115005]. The psychological basis of acquisition of English writing. (RMB ¥20,000). Ma, W., Hu, J., Xing, Q., Wang, Q., & Zhang, W. 

2011-2014: Chinese Ministry of Education Research Grant for Scholars Returning From Overseas [LXHG2012446], Infants’ acquisition of lexical tones. [RMB ¥20,000], Ma, W. 

2011-2013: Sichuan Provincial Applied Psychological Research Funding [CXSL-01002014], Verb acquisition and its application in early detection of language development problems. (RMB ¥3,000), Ma, W., Zhang, W., Hu, J., Gao, S., & Su, Y. 

2010-2013: National University Basic Research Funding [ZYGX2010J137], Infants’ understanding of lexical tones. (RMB ¥20,000), Ma, W., Zhang, W., Hu, J., Su, Y., Gao, S., & Yuan, Y.