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Academic Paper


Title: The effects of bilingualism on efficiency and lateralization of attentional networks
Author: Anna Marzecová
Institution: Jagiellonian University
Author: Dariusz Asanowicz
Institution: Jagiellonian University
Author: L'uba Kravá
Institution: Charles University in Prague
Author: Zofia Wodniecka
Institution: Jagiellonian University
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Language Acquisition
Abstract: The present study investigated the impact of bilingualism on efficiency of alerting, orienting and executive attention by means of the Lateralized Attention Network Test (LANT). Young adult bilinguals who had been exposed to their second language before the age of four years showed a reduced conflict cost and a larger alerting effect in terms of response time (RT), while no difference between bilinguals and monolinguals was observed in overall RT. Bilinguals also outperformed monolinguals on accuracy in both conflict and non-conflict trials, though the effect in the latter condition was very small. Moreover, while a left visual field advantage for accuracy of conflict resolution was present in the monolingual group, bilinguals did not show the asymmetry. The findings suggest that bilingualism enhances the efficiency of executive network while reducing its lateralization. The larger alerting effect in bilinguals is hypothesized to be related to bilinguals’ more efficient executive control, which may support processes of response anticipation or temporal orienting.

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This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 16, Issue 3.

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