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      Tracing the bilingual advantage in cognitive control: The role of flexibility in temporal preparation and category switching

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      Journal of Cognitive Psychology

      Informa UK Limited

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          The attention system of the human brain.

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            Bilingualism, aging, and cognitive control: evidence from the Simon task.

            Previous work has shown that bilingualism is associated with more effective controlled processing in children; the assumption is that the constant management of 2 competing languages enhances executive functions (E. Bialystok, 2001). The present research attempted to determine whether this bilingual advantage persists for adults and whether bilingualism attenuates the negative effects of aging on cognitive control in older adults. Three studies are reported that compared the performance of monolingual and bilingual middle-aged and older adults on the Simon task. Bilingualism was associated with smaller Simon effect costs for both age groups; bilingual participants also responded more rapidly to conditions that placed greater demands on working memory. In all cases the bilingual advantage was greater for older participants. It appears, therefore, that controlled processing is carried out more effectively by bilinguals and that bilingualism helps to offset age-related losses in certain executive processes. ((c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)
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              Are there bilingual advantages on nonlinguistic interference tasks? Implications for the plasticity of executive control processes.

              It has been proposed that the unique need for early bilinguals to manage multiple languages while their executive control mechanisms are developing might result in long-term cognitive advantages on inhibitory control processes that generalize beyond the language domain. We review the empirical data from the literature on nonlinguistic interference tasks to assess the validity of this proposed bilingual inhibitory control advantage. Our review of these findings reveals that the bilingual advantage on conflict resolution, which by hypothesis is mediated by inhibitory control, is sporadic at best, and in some cases conspicuously absent. A robust finding from this review is that bilinguals typically outperform monolinguals on both compatible and incompatible trials, often by similar magnitudes. Together, these findings suggest that bilinguals do enjoy a more widespread cognitive advantage (a bilingual executive processing advantage) that is likely observable on a variety of cognitive assessment tools but that, somewhat ironically, is most often not apparent on traditional assays of nonlinguistic inhibitory control processes.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Cognitive Psychology
                Journal of Cognitive Psychology
                Informa UK Limited
                2044-5911
                2044-592X
                July 16 2013
                July 16 2013
                : 25
                : 5
                : 586-604
                Article
                10.1080/20445911.2013.809348
                © 2013

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