A cognitive neuroscientist, Ellen Bialystok has spent almost 40 years learning about how bilingualism sharpens the mind. Her good news. The primary experience examined is bilingualism, considering how the need to control attention to two languages affects the nature of central. Bilinguals have lots of experience with these skills. “The bilingual mind is in constant conflict,” explains Ellen Bialystok from York University, one.


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Bilingual brains are more healthy | Ellen Bialystok | Science | The Guardian

The linguistic outcomes of inhibition are reduced speed and fluency of lexical access for bilinguals as described above. However, performance bialystok bilingualism requires a selection bias towards the target language, showing a role for activation [ 6667 ] as well as inhibition.

These alternatives are not mutually exclusive but indicate the need for a more complete description of how attention is managed in bilingual bialystok bilingualism processing. Ultimately the degree of both inhibition and activation are relative rather than absolute and will be modulated by contextual, linguistic, and cognitive factors.

The cognitive outcomes of linguistic inhibition are enhanced attentional control and bialystok bilingualism be described more fully in the next section. Importantly, the cognitive and linguistic outcomes are related.

Ellen Bialystok - Wikipedia

Three studies have reported a relationship between inhibition and ability in verbal and nonverbal tasks by showing a correlation between Stroop task performance and competing word selection [ 68 ], Simon task performance and language switching in picture naming [ 69 ], and cross-language interference and a variety of executive control measures [ 70 ].

Such results point to an extensive reorganization of cognitive and linguistic processes in bilinguals. Bialystok bilingualism networks in bilinguals Bilingual performance on conflict tasks Early evidence that bilingual children solved nonverbal conflict tasks differently from monolingual children was reported in a study by Bialystok and Majumder [ 21 ].

Eight-year-old children were given a variety of nonverbal problems to solve, some of which contained perceptual distraction block design from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children WISC [ 71 ] and some which did not Noelting's Juice Task [ 72bialystok bilingualism ].

Bilingual children outperformed monolinguals on the conflict tasks, but children in the two groups were comparable on tasks that did not include distracting perceptual information.

This pattern has been confirmed in studies of both children and adults using a flanker task children: Other studies with adults have shown better performance by bilinguals in naming the font color in a Stroop task bialystok bilingualism 25 ], smaller costs in task switching [ 80 ], better ability to maintain task set in an attention task [ 81 ], and more susceptibility to negative priming, presumably because of greater inhibition [ 82 ].

  • Bilingualism: Consequences for Mind and Brain
  • Why bilingualism?

Some studies have extended these bilingual advantages bialystok bilingualism older age. Bialystok, Craik, Klein and Viswanathan [ 44 ] bialystok bilingualism an experiment in which middle-aged and older adults who were either monolingual or bilingual were given a version of the Simon task.

Participants were shown either a green or a red square on each trial, and the task was to press an associated response key as rapidly as possible.

Ellen Bialystok — The Center for Language Science

The keys were located at each side of the presentation screen. Bialystok bilingualism one condition, the squares appeared centrally on the screen, so there was no spatial conflict between the location of stimuli and responses; bialystok bilingualism this condition there were no reaction-time RT differences between language groups.

In a second condition, the colored squares appeared laterally on the screen, either directly above the appropriate response key congruent condition or on the other side of the screen, above the incorrect response key incongruent condition. The RT difference between congruent and incongruent response trials the Simon effect is a measure of attentional control.

Bilinguals produced smaller Simon effects than monolinguals at all ages. Three other results from this study are noteworthy.

Ellen Bialystok

First, the decrease in attentional control in older bialystok bilingualism was reduced in the bilingual groups, suggesting that bilingualism may be protective against the effects of bialystok bilingualism aging.

Second, whereas a bilingual advantage was expected for incongruent stimuli, it was also found for congruent stimuli.

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This result bialystok bilingualism been replicated in subsequent studies [ 43 ] and is difficult to account for in terms of response conflict or inhibition.

Third, prolonged practice reduced both the Simon effect and the size of the bilingual advantage. Apparently all participants can learn to disregard bialystok bilingualism distracting effects of interfering stimuli given sufficient practice on a task, but it seems that bilinguals can learn this type of inhibition more rapidly.

One interesting question in this regard is the extent to which this attenuation bialystok bilingualism attentional control is specific to the practiced situation, or whether it generalizes to tasks tapping attentional control in a different manner.

Our conjecture is that the attenuation effect is context specific. A complication that has emerged as more results are reported is that the bilingual advantage is not always found in samples of young adults.



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