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The inside surface of the right hemisphere.

The inside surface of the right hemisphere.

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Over the last decade, research on multilingualism has grown and has provided researchers with new insights into the mechanisms at work in the multilingual brain. While some studies of multilinguals have shown similar results to what has been seen in studies of bilinguals, certain unique properties of multilinguals are beginning to be noticed, parti...

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Behavioral and neural correlates of cross-linguistic transfer (CLT) effects were studied at the word level, in a pair of linguistically distant languages. Twelve adult Persian speakers were tested on an overt picture-naming task in L2, during event-related fMRI scanning after an intensive computerized French lexical-learning program including cogna...

Citations

... The effects of bilingualism on EF have been empirically explored in the past decade. The findings tend to indicate that early bilingualism not only alters the functional involvement of certain brain areas in cognitive processing, but also induces experience-related changes in brain structure (Antoniou, 2019;Barac et al., 2014;Costa & Sebastián-Gallés, 2014;Higby et al., 2013). According to Costa and Sebastián-Gallés (2014), there seems to be adequate empirical evidence supporting the notion that bilingualism positively impacts early cognition, especially on those processes involved in executive function and their corresponding brain structures. ...
Article
Aims and objectives/purpose/research questions: The bilingual advantage in executive function (EF) has recently been explored with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) technology, but the results are still controversial because of the limited statistical analysis. This study aims to fill the gap by replicating the existing studies and advancing the statistical analysis. Design/methodology/approach: Altogether, 35 preschoolers (aged between 4.1 and 6.3 years, Mage = 5.0 years, SD = 0.59) completed the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test—Fourth Edition (PPVT-4) and the Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) task. Their behavioral performance and the associated brain activities during the three sessions of the DCCS task were measured using fNIRS. In addition, they were classified into either Bilingual or Monolingual groups based on the PPVT scores. Data and analysis: t-tests and quadratic regression analyses were conducted to examine whether children’s performance in the DCCS was related to their bilingualism and whether the changes in oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO) in the prefrontal regions were related to their bilingualism and performance in the DCCS. Findings/conclusions: The behavioral data analysis indicated no significant differences between the monolinguals and bilinguals. However, the fNIRS evidence indicated that (1) the monolinguals had to recruit 15 channels to complete the cognitive shifting of DCCS tasks, whereas the bilinguals only employed 11; (2) the bilinguals had significantly more brain activation with fewer channels in BA 44 than the monolinguals, demonstrating more effective executive function. Originality: This study has advanced the statistical analysis of the HbO changes for the cognitive shifting in the DCCS by confirming the nonlinear U-shape by quadratic regression a better fit than the linear V-shape by GLM. Significance/implications: This finding implies that early bilingual experience has equipped young children with more effective executive function.
... In multilingual people there is extensive overlap of brain regions that underlie language processing in the different languages (e.g., Abutalebi, Cappa & Perani, 2001;Higby, Kim & Obler, 2013;Perani, Paulesu, Galles, Dupoux, Dehaene, Bettinardi, Cappa, Fazio & Mehler, 1998). Most models of multilingual language representation are based on the widely accepted premise that semantic knowledge is predominantly shared across languages (e.g., Kroll et al., 2010;Kroll & Tokowicz, 2005;Paradis, 1993). ...
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In multilingual people, semantic knowledge is predominantly shared across languages. Providing semantic-focused treatment to people with aphasia has been posited to strengthen connectivity within association cortices that subserve semantic knowledge. In multilingual people, such treatment should result in within- and cross-language generalisation to all languages, although not equally. We investigated treatment effects in two multilingual participants with aphasia who received verb-based semantic treatment in two pre-stroke highly proficient languages. We compared within- and cross-language generalisation patterns across languages, finding within- and cross-language generalisation after treatment in the less-impaired, pre-morbidly more-proficient first-acquired language (L1). This observation supports the theory that connectivity is greater between the lexicon of a pre-morbidly more-proficient L1 and the shared semantic system than the lexicon of a pre-morbidly less-proficient later-acquired language. Our findings of within- and cross-language generalisation patterns could also be explained by both the Competing Mechanisms Theory and the theory of lingering suppression.
... However, under certain conditions (e.g., clear speech, low noise, simple tasks), excellent perception of L2 contrasts can often be observed, indicating that the relevant acoustic-phonetic correlates of the contrasts can be perceived by non-native listeners and L2 learners (e.g., Strange and Dittman, 1984;Levy and Strange, 2008;Strange, 2011). Furthermore, the age at which bilinguals begin acquiring their second language also influences how they process the second language (see Higby et al., 2013, for a review). The automatic selective perception (ASP) model (Strange andShafer, 2008, 2011) was proposed to account for these differences in performance as a function of task, stimuli, and language experience. ...
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Japanese and English use temporal cues within vowels, suggesting an audio-processing advantage for temporally-cued contrasts, while Spanish does not. Using a categorial AXB discrimination task, this study investigated how American English-speaking monolinguals and early and late Spanish-English bilinguals perceive three types of temporally-contrasting Japanese pairs: vowel length (kado/kaado), consonant length (iken/ikken), and syllable number (hjaku/hijaku). All groups performed worse than Japanese controls for the vowel length and syllable number contrasts, but only early bilinguals differed from controls for consonant length. This research contributes to a better understanding of how the first-learned language influences speech perception in a second language.
... At this point, studies with various groups of learners that are multilingual may seem dependent on other variables, while evidence coming from studying the brain of multilinguals can seem more convincing, as physical evidence can be given. For instance, according to [59], native languages and languages learned later activate the same areas of the brain and use the same neural resources. However, it is not known "whether the brain processes these languages in the same way or not." ...
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Chapter
The purpose of this chapter is to look at ways in which teaching and learning a foreign language can benefit from previous knowledge of other languages, when it comes to the awareness of linguistics, pragmatics, as well as of cultural differences. The assumption is that having knowledge of other languages and, implicitly, of cultures, can help increase awareness and empathy with other cultural values and mindsets. As a result, adaptation to the ways and values of other cultures can be easier and faster for multilinguals. Studying a foreign language should always be strongly connected to studying the respective culture, since it can increase awareness of the context of communication and help in the study of pragmatics. The chapter will analyze examples of multilinguals with these abilities and awareness and draw conclusions.
... The current view, based on modern neuroimaging techniques, holds that "all languages learned are supported by a common neural mechanism (for reviews, see Higby et al. 2013;Mouthon et al. 2013;Costa and Sebastián-Gallés 2014), L2 representation converging with that of an already-specified L1 network (Green, 2003;Green, 2007)" (DelMaschio &Abutalebi, 2019, p. 200). This idea of convergence captures the current picture of how a new additional language is learned: It is attached to already-existing structures of earlier learned language(s) to build up an integrated lexical system. ...
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This review scrutinizes the evidence concerning the factors that affect the ease with which multilinguals learn additional languages. First, I focus on language learning experiences that could help multilinguals acquire new languages (e.g., consequences of exposure, use of prior knowledge, biliteracy). I then discuss how multilinguals manage multiple languages and struggle with language control problems. By finally shedding more light onto effects of learning on the brain and the ways it adapts to the higher processing demands when having to manage multiple languages, it becomes clear that the key to understanding learning and processing of multiple languages lies in understanding the adaptive and dynamic nature of the brain. Although the brain is striving for efficient processing, environmental influences, communicative demands and genetic predispositions influence the learning and processing of multiple languages. I therefore suggest five specific effects related to multilingualism which may ease subsequent learning of multiple languages.
... Recently, approaches focusing on additional mechanisms potentially underlying the bilingual advantage have emerged (see Higby, Kim, & Obler, 2013 for a review). For example, the role of sensory mechanisms was posited to have been underestimated to date and, in particular, auditory sensory (echoic) memory (Calabrese, 2012;Spinu et al., 2018). ...
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Conference Paper
Among the most diverse areas that involve bilingualism is the socio and psycholinguistic study in children and adults. Fernandez and Cairns (2010) define psycholinguistics as the area that studies the connections between language acquisition, comprehension and production, and also how language is represented and processed in human brain. Grosjean (2013) argued that more than half of the world population might be bilingual. Even though the existing data are not yet concrete, it is clear that bilingualism is present in many age groups and diversified social positions in the vast majority of countries. Thus, based on the assumption that bilingualism is a phenomenon that occurs worldwide which is also the result of a globalized society surrounded by many cases of immigration, it is undeniably important to conduct studies related to education and culture from a bi-multilingual perspective. In this study we aim to describe and analyze from a quantitative and qualitative perspective, a particular Portuguese speaking community located in Dongguan (China), near Macau also known as a privileged area to learn Portuguese in Asia. The study is mainly focused on code-mixing and code-switching phenomenon on different daily life contexts as well as on emotional situations. Children linked to the Brazilian community in Dongguan live in an environment that favors the acquisition of different languages due to interaction with individuals from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, where Mandarin, English and Portuguese are the languages that prevail. The results suggested that many parents supported the bilingual education, as a representative of several socio-cultural advantages and as a factor that leads to a promising future for their children. It is also noticed that the observed children already had an emotional connection with the language they elected for different daily life contexts and that most of times may not be their parent’s mother tongue. Keywords: Language acquisition; bilingualism; emotions; Languages and Emotions
... Û Potential reasons: theoretical and methodological issues e.g. di culty of quantifying the bilingual experience (Del Maschio & Abutalebi 2018), task factors (Higby et al. 2013), individual factors like talent, (Obler & Fein 1988), the existence of nonlinguistic ways of improving EF (Valian 2015), or the fact that the advantages of bilingualism are thought to be most evident in childhood and old age, but 'muted' in adulthood (Bialystok et al. 2012). Û Despite these issues, a relatively robust bilingual advantage has been reported recently for phonetic and phonological learning (PPL), but findings generally limited to perception/production of sounds in isolation ( ...
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No PDF available ABSTRACT Recent work shows bilingual speakers exhibit an advantage in phonetic and phonological learning (PPL) compared to monolinguals. Specifically, bilinguals displayed stronger subcortical encoding of sound when processing speech stimuli (Krizman et al., 2012), and outperformed monolinguals in speech perception tasks (Tremblay and Sabourin, 2012). Bilinguals also displayed an advantage in learning vocabularies that differentiated words using foreign phonetic contrasts (Antoniou et al., 2015), and various aspects of novel accent pronunciation with both natural and artificial accents (Spinu et al., 2018, 2020). The current study explores the mechanisms underlying these enhanced skills by aiming to establish whether a correlation exists between PPL and higher-order cognitive abilities (i.e., executive functions) already shown to be enhanced in bilinguals: attentional control and inhibition (Bialystok, 2017). Our experiment explores the learning of two new segmental patterns in an artificial accent of English (following Spinu et al., 2020) in 20 monolingual English speakers and 20 early Spanish-English bilinguals from NYC. We also compare participants' accent learning scores with performance on two classic tasks that assess executive functioning (EF). By revealing a connection between PPL and EF, we add to the body of work on PPL in general, and the bilingual advantage in particular.
... Several examples of the terminology conundrum and its effects emerge when we examine neurolinguistic research on bilingualism. Higby et al. (2013), for instance, point out in their summary of the neuro-linguistic discourse on language that whilst most of this research focuses on subjects' use of two languages (bilingualism), the participants may well include many individuals that can actually use more than two languages. The work of Lehtonen et al. (2012), and Parker Jones et al. (2012) is highlighted by Higby et al. (2013) as an example of research that uses the terms interchangeably, even within a single research study. ...
... Higby et al. (2013), for instance, point out in their summary of the neuro-linguistic discourse on language that whilst most of this research focuses on subjects' use of two languages (bilingualism), the participants may well include many individuals that can actually use more than two languages. The work of Lehtonen et al. (2012), and Parker Jones et al. (2012) is highlighted by Higby et al. (2013) as an example of research that uses the terms interchangeably, even within a single research study. In Lehtonen et al. (2012) and Parker Jones et al.'s (2011) research, even after identifying the bilingual (i.e. ...
... The brain imaging research suggests that there are differences in the way monolinguals, bilinguals and multilinguals process language, which has helped researchers better understand some observations and theories proposed that relate to the discussion of cognitive advantages in bi-and multilingual children. Two important findings have shown how bi-and multilingual individuals have weaker left-hemisphere lateralization than monolinguals (see Higby et al., 2013referring to Ding et al., 2003Ibrahim et al., 2010;Pillai et al., 2003;Proverbio, et al., 2004;Sussman, et al., 1982). Bilinguals who have acquired their additional language earlier show more right hemisphere activation than later bilinguals (Higby et al., 2013, p.72). ...
Thesis
This PhD thesis investigates some of the unique characteristics of young transnational multilingual children aged five to eleven from high-socioeconomic status families educated in an international school in Switzerland. Its purpose is to improve understanding of typical and atypical language development for this group. It draws on sociolinguistic research on language variation and exposure, and clinical linguistic research on developmental language disorder identification and cross-linguistic considerations. The specific aim of the pilot research study presented in this thesis is to measure and discuss seven multilingual children’s verbal language abilities in each of their languages, and to measure their combined bilingual verbal abilities and multilingual verbal abilities. It is, therefore, influenced by discussion on language acquisition theories that relate to complex and dynamic systems, such as the Dynamic Model of Multilingualism. In addition, it also identifies any common characteristics, familial language practices or experiences of the pilot group of children. A methodological design is created that could be replicated in the future on a much larger scale as a means of confirming, extending or disputing the findings from the pilot group. This thesis’s pilot research findings suggest that multilingual children from high-income families who attend international schools have significantly above average verbal language abilities when their verbal language abilities are evaluated as one total language system (multilingual ability), a finding that is in stark contrast to the ‘average’ results they receive when each language is evaluated on its own. The thesis concludes that research on multilingual children that does not take into account the variables unique to this group may fail to recognise important factors that can impact their language development.
... EF includes three components, namely inhibition, shifting and working memory, and develops synonymously with the functioning of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) (Hughes & Graham, 2010;Miyake et al., 2000). Recent review studies have supported a domain-general executive processing advantage in bilingual young children (Antoniou, 2019;Barac, Bialystok, Castro, & Sanchez,2014;Higby, Jungna, & Obler, 2013), and theories have been proposed to explain such bilingual advantage. ...
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Aims: The present study aims to examine: (1) the relationship between young children's bilingualism and their performance in the Dimensional Card Change Sort (DCCS) task; and (2) whether prefrontal activation was associated with children's bilingualism and executive function. Methodology: Children performed three sessions of the DCCS and their brain activity during the task was measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Data and analysis: A sample of bilingual children (N = 49) was recruited from a preschool with an English immersion program. We examined whether children's performance in the DCCS was related to their bilingualism and whether the changes in oxygenated hemoglobin in the prefrontal regions were related to their bilingualism and performance in the DCCS. Findings/Conclusions: Results showed that children's English ability was significantly correlated with their behavioral performance in DCCS, and predicted children's group membership (pass or perseverate). Furthermore, children in the pass group significantly activated the prefrontal cortex than those in the perseverate group, and activation in the prefrontal region was significantly correlated with children's English ability. Originality: The current study first examined the effect of children's bilingualism on their executive function and prefrontal activation.
... Recent review studies have supported a domain-general executive processing advantage in bilingual young children (Antoniou, 2019;Barac et al., 2014;Higby et al., 2013), and theories have been proposed to explain such bilingual advantage. Recognizing the development of inhibitory control as the essential basis of cognitive development, the Inhibitory Control Model (Green, 1998) has suggested that bilingual language processing was based on the Supervisory Attention System (SAS) to inhibit unwanted language and process the target language. ...
Article
Aims The present study aims to examine: (1) the relationship between young children’s bilingualism and their performance in the Dimensional Card Change Sort (DCCS) task; and (2) whether prefrontal activation was associated with children’s bilingualism and executive function. Methodology Children performed three sessions of the DCCS and their brain activity during the task was measured using functional nearinfrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Data and analysis A sample of bilingual children ( N = 49) was recruited from a preschool with an English immersion program. We examined whether children’s performance in the DCCS was related to their bilingualism and whether the changes in oxygenated hemoglobin in the prefrontal regions were related to their bilingualism and performance in the DCCS. Findings/conclusions Results showed that children’s English ability was significantly correlated with their behavioral performance in DCCS, and predicted children’s group membership (pass or perseverate). Furthermore, children in the pass group significantly activated the prefrontal cortex than those in the perseverate group, and activation in the prefrontal region was significantly correlated with children’s English ability. Originality The current study first examined the effect of children’s bilingualism on their executive function and prefrontal activation.