Minna Lehtonen

Associate Professor
Image of Minna Lehtonen
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47-22844293
Room 426
Available hours By appointment
Visiting address Niels Henrik Abels vei 36 Henrik Wergelands hus 0313 Oslo
Postal address PO box 1102 Blindern 0317 Oslo

Academic interests

I am interested in psycholinguistic questions such as how one or multiple languages are processed in the brain and how learning a second language affects the neurocognitive system. One of my recent research projects has focused on the question of whether bilingualism is associated with benefits and costs on cognitive control functions and language. I have also done research on how morphologically complex words, i.e., words with several meaningful units (“read+er+s”), are processed in monolinguals and bilinguals, and whether processing is affected by the structure of the language (e.g., Finnish vs. Swedish). We are also currently investigating how such words are processed by immigrants in the process of learning the morphologically rich Finnish language. More recently, I have become involved in studies focusing on multilingual aphasia.

For more information about my research, see my ResearchGate profile



At MultiLing, I am the director of the MultiLing Lab, the Theme 1 leader and head of the Aphasia Project and the research group in Clinical Linguistics and Language Acquisition. Prior to UiO, I have worked as Academy Research Fellow at Åbo Akademi University in Turku, Finland, and at University of Helsinki, after a postdoc period in the USA. My research has utilized several neuroimaging techniques, such as fMRI, EEG and MEG, as well as behavioral and meta-analytic methods. My own background is in psychology, but the interdisciplinary nature of the research has led to interesting collaborations with researchers from several fields, including linguistics, speech-language pathology, computational sciences, and neurosciences.

Tags: Psycholinguistics, Neurolinguistics, Multilingual competence, Multilingualism, Bilingualism, Language control, Executive functions, Morphological processing, Word recognition


Lehtonen, M., Varjokallio, M., Kivikari, H., Hultén, A., Virpioja, S., Hakala, T., Kurimo, M., Lagus, K. & Salmelin, R. (2019). Statistical models of morphology predict eye-tracking measures during visual word recognition. Memory & Cognition, 47(7), 1245–1269. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13421-019-00931-7

Jylkkä, J., Soveri, A., Laine, M., & Lehtonen, M. (2019). Assessing bilingual language switching behavior with Ecological Momentary Assessment. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728918001190

Nikolaev, A., Ashaie, S., Hallikainen, M., Hänninen, T., Higby, E., Hyun, J., Lehtonen, M., & Soininen, H. (2019). Effects of morphological family on word recognition in normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. Cortex, 116, 91-103.

Lehtonen, M., Soveri, A., Laine, A., Järvenpää, J., de Bruin, A. & Antfolk, J. (2018). Is bilingualism associated with enhanced executive functioning in adults? A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 144(4), 394-425. doi:10.1037/bul0000142

Laine, M. & Lehtonen, M. (2018). Cognitive consequences of bilingualism: where to go from here? Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(9), 1205-1212.

Hämäläinen, S., Joutsa, J., Sihvonen, A. J., Leminen, A., & Lehtonen, M. (2018). Beyond volume: A surface-based approach to bilingualism-induced grey matter changes. Neuropsychologia, 117, 1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.04.038

Jylkkä, J., Lehtonen, M., Kuusakoski, A., Lindholm, F., Hut, S. C. A. & Laine, M. (2018). The role of general executive functions in receptive language switching and monitoring. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 21(4), 839-855.

Virpioja, S., Lehtonen, M., Hultén, A., Roikola, H., Salmelin, R. & Lagus, K. (2018). Using Statistical Models of Morphology in the Search for Optimal Units of Representation in the Human Mental Lexicon. Cognitive Science, 42(3):939-973.                           

Hut, S. C. A, Helenius, P., Leminen, A., Mäkelä, J. & Lehtonen, M. (2017). Language control mechanisms differ for native languages: neuromagnetic evidence from trilingual language switching. Neuropsychologia, 107, 108-120.

Jylkkä, J., Soveri, A., Wahlström, J., Lehtonen, M., Rodríguez-Fornells, A., & Laine, M. (2017). Relationship between language switching experience and executive functions in bilinguals: an internet-based study. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 29(4), 404-419.

Hämäläinen, S., Sairanen, V., Leminen, A. & Lehtonen, M. (2017). Bilingualism modulates the white matter structure of language-related pathways. NeuroImage, 152, 249-257.

  • Lehtonen, Minna (2019). Cognitive and neural effects of bilingualism.
  • Lehtonen, Minna; Vorobyev, Victor A.; Soveri, Anna; Hugdahl, Kenneth; Tuokkola, Terhi & Laine, Matti (2007). Language-specific brain activation patterns in the bilingual brain: Evidence from inflectional processing in a morphologically rich vs. limited language. Brain and Language.  ISSN 0093-934X.  103(1-2), s 49- 50 . doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2007.07.039
  • Lehtonen, Minna; Vorobyev, Victor A.; Hugdahl, Kenneth; Tuokkola, Terhi & Laine, Matti (2005). Neural correlates of morphological decomposition in a morphologically rich language: an fMRI study.
  • Lehtonen, Minna; Laine, Matti; Niemi, Jussi; Thomsen, Tormod & Hugdahl, Kenneth (2004). Cortical correlates of translation performance in Finnish-Norwegian bilinguals.
Published June 13, 2018 4:15 PM - Last modified June 23, 2020 11:33 AM