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Mean reaction time (RT) on Simon task by decade for monolinguals and bilinguals. Graph a shows mean RT for the control condition; Graph b shows mean RT cost as the difference between congruent and incongruent trials (Simon effect). From Bialystok, Craik, Klein, and Viswanathan (2004).

Mean reaction time (RT) on Simon task by decade for monolinguals and bilinguals. Graph a shows mean RT for the control condition; Graph b shows mean RT cost as the difference between congruent and incongruent trials (Simon effect). From Bialystok, Craik, Klein, and Viswanathan (2004).

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The regular use of two languages by bilingual individuals has been shown to have a broad impact on language and cognitive functioning. In this monograph, we consider four aspects of this influence. In the first section, we examine differences between mono-linguals and bilinguals in children's acquisition of language and adults' linguistic processin...

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... or bilingual on a version of the Simon task. When the colored squares are presented centrally, there is no conflict between the position of the stimulus and side of the appropriate response, and in this case there were no differences in reaction time between monolinguals and bilinguals, although older participants took longer to respond (Fig. 3a). When the colored squares appeared laterally, however, Simon effects were found, and these were larger for monolinguals-especially older monolinguals (Fig. 3b). This evidence for a bilingual advan- tage in inhibitory control in adults extended the results of previous studies on children. Moreover, the bilingual advantage was especially ...
Context 2
... and side of the appropriate response, and in this case there were no differences in reaction time between monolinguals and bilinguals, although older participants took longer to respond (Fig. 3a). When the colored squares appeared laterally, however, Simon effects were found, and these were larger for monolinguals-especially older monolinguals (Fig. 3b). This evidence for a bilingual advan- tage in inhibitory control in adults extended the results of previous studies on children. Moreover, the bilingual advantage was especially strong in older adults, suggesting that bilingualism may afford some protection against at least some forms of cognitive ...
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... for the oldest (60-80) group, because the drop in efficiency from the middle-aged to older participants was greater for monolinguals than for bilinguals. This pattern of an especially strong advantage for the oldest bilingual participants was also found in three other studies by Bialystok and collaborators (Bialystok et al., , 2008a; see Fig. ...
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... that bilingual children and adults enjoy an advantage over their monolingual counterparts in aspects of attention and cognitive control. In some cases (e.g., ), this bilin- gual advantage actually increases in older adulthood, in the sense that performance falls off more steeply with increasing age in monolinguals than it does in bilinguals (see Fig. 3b). This result may be interpreted as showing that bilingualism serves to protect against some aspects of age-related cognitive loss, and prompts the question of whether bilingualism might offer some protection against pathological decline, specifically against the onset of dementia. Such protection might be considered one form of ...

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... An additional recommendation for future research is to compare bilingual participants to monolingual participants in a misinformation task. Bilingualism has been linked to enhanced executive functioning (e.g., Bialystok et al. 2009) and executive functioning is related to source monitoring performance (Ruffman et al. 2001). Because source monitoring is closely linked to the misinformation effect (Lindsay and Johnson 1989), bilingual participants may be less susceptible than monolinguals to the misinformation effect. ...
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Bilingual experience has an impact on an individual’s linguistic processing and general cognitive abilities. The relation between these linguistic and non-linguistic domains, in turn, is mediated by individual linguistic proficiency and developmental changes that take place across the lifespan. This study evaluated this relationship by assessing inhibition skills, and verbal fluency in monolingual and bilingual school-aged children (Experiment 1), young adults (Experiment 2), and older adults (Experiment 3). Results showed that bilinguals outperformed monolinguals in the measure of inhibition, but only in the children and older adult age groups. With regards to verbal fluency, bilingual children outperformed their monolingual peers in the letter verbal fluency task, but no group differences were observed for the young and old adults. These findings suggest that bilingual experience leads to significant advantages in linguistic and non-linguistic domains, but only at the time points when these skills undergo developmental changes.