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Different Features of Bilingualism in Relation to Executive Functioning
Umeå universitet, Institutionen för psykologi.
Umeå universitet, Institutionen för psykologi.
Umeå universitet, Institutionen för psykologi.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5546-3270
2019 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 10, no 269Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The notion that the long-term practice of managing two languages is beneficial for the executive control system is an ongoing debate. Criticism have been raised that studies demonstrating a bilingual advantage often suffer from small sample sizes, and do not control for fluid intelligence as a possible confound. Taking those suggested factors into account, focusing on older bilingual age groups and investigating the potential effects of linguistic distances, this study aimed to improve the interpretations of the bilinguals’ advantages. Measures of inhibition (Flanker, Stroop, Simon task) and switching (Number-letter, Color-Shape, Local-global task) were collected in participants in the ages 50-75 years (n = 193). Despite a large study sample, results did not support any beneficial effects related to improve processing costs in executive functioning. Sub-analyses of the two different language groups (Swedish – Finnish / Swedish – English) intended to investigate the effect of linguistic distances did not change this outcome. Future studies exploring the potential long-term term effects of bilingualism would benefit from identifying tests of cognitive control with greater ecological validity and include other measures of cognitive functioning. Language learning interventions may also be a promising tool for future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A. , 2019. Vol. 10, no 269
Keywords [en]
bilingualism, cognitive control, executive functioning, inhibition, switching, linguistic distance, middle age, old age
National Category
Social Sciences Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-76295DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00269ISI: 000458281600001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-76295DiVA, id: diva2:1359243
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2011-1782Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, KAW 2014.0205Available from: 2019-10-08 Created: 2019-10-08 Last updated: 2019-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson Sörman, DanielHansson, PatrikKörning Ljungberg, Jessica

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