Bilinguals Use Language-Control Brain Areas More Than Monolinguals to Perform Non-Linguistic Switching Tasks

Journal article


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Publication Details

Author list: Barceló F
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Publication year: 2013
Volume number: 8
Issue number: 9
Start page: e73028
Number of pages: 8
ISSN: 1932-6203
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


We tested the hypothesis that early bilinguals use language-control
brain areas more than monolinguals when performing non-linguistic
executive control tasks. We do so by exploring the brain activity of
early bilinguals and monolinguals in a task-switching paradigm using an
embedded critical trial design. Crucially, the task was designed such
that the behavioural performance of the two groups was comparable,
allowing then to have a safer comparison between the corresponding brain
activity in the two groups. Despite the lack of behavioural differences
between both groups, early bilinguals used language-control areas –
such as left caudate, and left inferior and middle frontal gyri – more
than monolinguals, when performing the switching task. Results offer
direct support for the notion that, early bilingualism exerts an effect
in the neural circuitry responsible for executive control. This effect
partially involves the recruitment of brain areas involved in language
control when performing domain-general executive control tasks,
highlighting the cross-talk between these two domains.


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Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:16