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Academic Paper

Title: A bilingual advantage in task switching
Author: Anat Prior
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Haifa
Author: Brian Macwhinney
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: This study investigated the possibility that lifelong bilingualism may lead to enhanced efficiency in the ability to shift between mental sets. We compared the performance of monolingual and fluent bilingual college students in a task-switching paradigm. Bilinguals incurred reduced switching costs in the task-switching paradigm when compared with monolinguals, suggesting that lifelong experience in switching between languages may contribute to increased efficiency in the ability to shift flexibly between mental sets. On the other hand, bilinguals did not differ from monolinguals in the differential cost of performing mixed-task as opposed to single-task blocks. Together, these results indicate that bilingual advantages in executive function most likely extend beyond inhibition of competing responses, and encompass flexible mental shifting as well.


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 13, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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