The Source Of Enhanced Cognitive Control In Bilinguals

692 Words3 Pages
Caitlin Bomse

1 Emmorey, Karen, GiGi Luk, Jennie Pyers, and Ellen Bialystok (2008): The Source of Enhanced Cognitive Control in Bilinguals. Psychological Science.

My overall topic is studying the effects of knowing a spoken language and a gesture language, English and American Sign Language for example. I will be looking at the use of ASL signs being used when a highly proficient bilinguals are speaking in English. The effects of bimodal bilingualism on inhibition is the main research topic of my paper. This article is related to my topic because it researched the inhibition of distractors when a person is bilingual in a spoken language and a sign language. The study showed that bimodal bilinguals do not experience the same inhibitory control
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One language is auditorily processed while the other is visually processed. Since one language doesn’t have to be inhibited during conversation, bimodal bilinguals do not need to control the production of one of their languages. They can sign and speak at the same time, even unintentionally. This study answers the question of why bimodal bilinguals do not experience the same inhibitory control as unimodal bilinguals during things like the flanker…show more content…
The regular need to select a target language is argued to enhance executive control. We investigated whether this enhancement stems from a general effect of bilingualism (the representation of two languages) or from a modality constraint that forces language selection. Bimodal bilinguals can, but do not always, sign and speak at the same time. Their two languages involve distinct motor and perceptual systems, leading to weaker demands on language control. We compared the performance of 15 monolinguals, 15 bimodal bilinguals, and 15 unimodal bilinguals on a set of flanker tasks. There were no group differences in accuracy, but unimodal bilinguals were faster than the other groups; bimodal bilinguals did not differ from monolinguals. These results trace the bilingual advantage in cognitive control to the unimodal bilinguals experience controlling two languages in the same

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