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Academic Paper

Title: Successive bilingualism and executive functions: The effect of second language use on inhibitory control in a behavioural Stroop Colour Word task
Author: Karin Heidlmayr
Institution: Université Paris V - Descartes
Author: Sylvain Moutier
Institution: Université Paris V - Descartes
Author: Barbara Hemforth
Institution: Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7
Institution: Developmental and Neurofunctional Imaging Group GINDEV UMR 6232,
Author: Robert Tanzmeister
Institution: Universität Wien
Author: Frédéric Isel
Institution: Université Paris V - Descartes
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science
Subject Language: French
Abstract: Here we examined the role of bilingualism on cognitive inhibition using the Stroop Colour Word task. Our hypothesis was that the frequency of use of a second language (L2) in the daily life of successive bilingual individuals impacts the efficiency of their inhibitory control mechanism. Thirty-three highly proficient successive French–German bilinguals, living either in a French or in a German linguistic environment, performed a Stroop task on both French and German words. Moreover, 31 French monolingual individuals were also tested with French words. We showed that the bilingual advantage was (i) reinforced by the use of a third language, and (ii) modulated by the duration of immersion in a second language environment. This suggests that top–down inhibitory control is most involved at the beginning of immersion. Taken together, the present findings lend support to the psycholinguistic models of bilingual language processing that postulate that top–down active inhibition is involved in language control.


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 17, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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