Albert Costa
In memory of

Albert Costa
University Pompeu Fabra | UPF · Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC)

Full Professor

About

282
Publications
133,235
Reads
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15,126
Citations
Introduction
PhD in psychology in 1997 (Universitat de Barcelona). In 1998, I started my post-doctoral career at. 1999-2000, I was a post-doctoral fellow at the Cognitive Neuropsychology laboratory at Harvard. In 2001, I moved to the Cognitive Neuroscience department at SISSA. 2002 to 2005 I was a research fellow at the UB, and in 2006 I became an Associate Professor in the the same university. Since 2008 I am ICREA Research Professor, and currently a member of the Center for Brain and Cognition at UPF.
Additional affiliations
November 2008 - present
University Pompeu Fabra
Position
  • ICREA Research Professor
October 2008 - present
January 2002 - January 2008
University of Barcelona
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (282)
Article
Full-text available
Bilinguals who switch from a monolingual context to a bilingual context enhance their domain-general attentional system. But what drives the adaptation process and translates into the observed increased efficiency of the attentional system? To uncover the origin of the plasticity in a bilingual’s language experience, we investigated whether switchi...
Article
Full-text available
Two experimental studies were conducted to replicate the effect found by Baus et al. where language as a marker of social categories affected recognition of faces in an old/new paradigm. In Study 1, we presented faces along with utterances in Swedish and in English to native Swedish speakers. Faces presented along with Swedish utterances were not r...
Article
Full-text available
Does language categorization influence face identification? The present study addressed this question by means of two experiments. First, to establish language categorization of faces, the memory confusion paradigm was used to create two language categories of faces, Spanish and English. Subsequently, participants underwent an oddball paradigm, in...
Article
Our preferences and evaluations are often affected by contextual factors. One unavoidable context is language. We used an evaluative conditioning (EC) paradigm (pairing neutral stimuli with emotional or neutral stimuli) to investigate whether our evaluations are equally conditioned in a first (L1) and a second language (L2). An EC effect was observ...
Article
The present study aimed to explore the bilingual disadvantage in the course of speech production by comparing the naming performance and the temporal dynamics of object naming in three groups of participants: monolinguals, L1 bilinguals and L2 bilinguals. To determine the origin of the bilingual disadvantage, whether lexical or post-lexical, we man...
Article
Full-text available
Lifelong bilingualism may contribute to cognitive reserve (CR) in neurodegenerative diseases as shown by a delay of the age at symptom onset in bilinguals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). However, some studies have failed to show this bilingual advantage, suggesting that it might depend on the type and degree of bi...
Article
The extent to which negative bias toward foreign‐accented speakers originates from social categorization (in‐group/out‐group categorization) and/or from processing fluency (ease in processing information) is not clear. Some have argued that accent first induces a social identity effect and that processing fluency later modifies the impact of this e...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Evidence from previous studies suggests that bilingualism contributes to cognitive reserve because bilinguals manifest the first symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) up to 5 years later than monolinguals. Other cross-sectional studies demonstrate that bilinguals show greater amounts of brain atrophy and hypometabolism than monolinguals...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reports an experiment designed to assess the occurrence of lexical interference in verb production in Spanish. Using the semantic competitors paradigm (HOWARD et al., 2006), we show that the higher the number of verbs of the same category produced, the longer it takes to retrieve another verb of the same category in a picture naming task...
Article
Full-text available
Este artículo presenta un experimento diseñado para evaluar la ocurrencia de interferencia léxica en la producción de verbos en español. Usando el paradigma de los competidores semánticos (HOWARD et al., 2006), mostramos que cuanto mayor es el número de verbos de la misma categoría producidos, más tiempo lleva recuperar otro verbo de la misma categ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Patients with the semantic variant of Primary Progressive Aphasia (svPPA) offer a unique opportunity to study the relationship between lexical retrieval and semantics, as they are characterised by progressive degradation of central semantic representations. However, there are few studies of how lexical retrieval across languages is affe...
Article
Full-text available
Word reduction refers to how predictable words are shortened in features such as duration, intensity, or pitch. However, its origin is still unclear: Are words reduced because it is the second time that conceptual representations are activated, or because words are articulated twice? If word reduction is conceptually driven, it would be irrelevant...
Article
In the past years, there has been a significant increase in the number of people learning sign languages. For hearing second language (L2) signers, acquiring a sign language involves acquiring a new language in a different modality. Exploring how L2 sign perception is accomplished and how newly learned categories are created is the aim of the prese...
Article
Full-text available
More cognitive resources are required to comprehend foreign-accented than native speech. Focusing these cognitive resources on resolving the acoustic mismatch between the foreign-accented input and listeners’ stored representations of spoken words can affect other cognitive processes. Across two studies, we explored whether processing foreign-accen...
Preprint
Our preferences and evaluations are often affected by contextual factors. One unavoidable context is language. We used an evaluative conditioning (EC) paradigm (pairing neutral stimuli with emotional or neutral stimuli) to investigate whether our evaluations are equally conditioned in a native (NL) and in a foreign language (FL). An EC effect was o...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with aphasia frequently show lexical retrieval deficits due to increased interference of semantically related competitors, a phenomenon that can be observed in tasks such as naming pictures grouped by semantic category. These deficits are explained in terms of impaired semantic control, a set of abilities that are to some extent depende...
Article
The use of socially opprobrious words (taboo words) is a cross-cultural phenomenon occurring between in- dividuals from almost all social extractions. The neurocognitive correlates of using taboo words in the native language (L1) as compared to their use in a second (L2) language are largely unknown. We used fMRI to in- vestigate the processing of...
Preprint
Full-text available
This study investigates the relationship between mechanisms involved in language control within dual- and single-language contexts by examining whether they are similarly impaired in bilingual PD patients. To do so, we explored the performance of bilingual individuals affected by PD and healthy controls on two linguistic tasks: between-language and...
Article
We investigated the neural correlates of accented speech processing (ASP) with an fMRI study that overcame prior limitations in this line of research: we preserved intelligibility by using two regional accents that differ in prosody but only mildly in phonetics (Latin American and Castilian Spanish), and we used independent component analysis to id...
Article
Full-text available
We tested whether learning associated to lexical selection is error-based, and whether lexical selection is competitive by assessing the after-effects of producing words on subsequent production of semantic competitors differing in degree of error (translation equivalents). Speakers named pictures or words in one language (part A), and then named t...
Data
Target words used in Experiments 1a, 1b and 2. (DOCX)
Data
Information concerning the language history of participants. (DOCX)
Data
Response time and accuracy data of Experiment 1a for the 30 participants who named in Catalan in part A and Spanish in part B. (XLSX)
Data
Response time and accuracy data of Experiment 1a for the 29 participants who named in Spanish in part A and Catalan in part B. (XLSX)
Data
Response time and accuracy data of Experiment 1b for the 30 participants who named in Catalan in part A and Spanish in part B. (XLSX)
Data
Response time and accuracy data of Experiment 1b for the 30 participants who named in Spanish in part A and Catalan in part B. (XLSX)
Data
Means and statistical analyses of error-rates in Experiment 1a, 1b and 2. (DOCX)
Data
Response time and accuracy data of Experiment 2 for the 27 participants who named in English in part A and Catalan in part B. (XLSX)
Data
Response time and accuracy data of Experiment 2 for the 27 participants who named in English in part A and Spanish in part B. (XLSX)
Article
This chapter reviews current knowledge about the relationship between language control and executive control (EC) mechanisms in bilingual speakers. The most common strategy to assess the relationship between the two domains of control is to compare people's performance on control tasks that involve linguistic and non‐linguistic processes. The chapt...
Article
Odor naming is enhanced in communities where communication about odors is a central part of daily life (e.g., wine experts, flavorists, and some hunter‐gatherer groups). In this study, we investigated how expert knowledge and daily experience affect the ability to name odors in a group of experts that has not previously been investigated in this co...
Article
Syntactic priming in language production is the increased likelihood of using a recently encountered syntactic structure. In this paper, we examine two theories of why speakers can be primed: error‐driven learning accounts (Bock, Dell, Chang, & Onishi, 2007; Chang, Dell, & Bock, 2006) and activation‐based accounts (Pickering & Branigan, 1999; Reitt...
Article
If you are kind to me, I am likely to reciprocate and doing so feels fair. Many theories of social exchange assume that such reciprocity and fairness are well aligned with one another. We argue that this correspondence between reciprocity and fairness is restricted to interpersonal dyads and does not govern more complex multilateral interactions. W...
Article
Full-text available
The present study investigated language inhibition and cross-language interference as two possible mechanisms of bilingual language control (BLC) that can be affected by Huntington’s disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disease (ND) affecting the striatum. To this aim, the study explored the performance of pre-symptomatic and early-stage HD patients i...
Article
Full-text available
What is the relationship between bilingual language control (BLC) mechanisms and domain-general executive control (EC) processes? Do these two domains share some of their mechanisms? Here, we take a novel approach to this question, investigating whether short-term language switching training improves non-linguistic task switching performance. Two g...
Article
Full-text available
Language context (native vs. foreign) affects people’s choices and preferences in a wide variety of situations. However, emotional reactions are a key component driving people’s choices in those situations. In six studies, we test whether foreign language context modifies biases and the use of heuristics not directly caused by emotional reactions....
Data
Materials used in all the experiments in Spanish and English. A file with the scenarios used in the languages in which participants were tested. (PDF)
Article
How are the two lexicons of a bilingual represented and how do they interact during language processing? These questions are central to bilingualism and have been the topics of a large number of studies. Dijkstra, Wahl, Buytenhuijs, van Halem, Al-jibouri, De Korte & Rekke (in press) put forward a model that tries to capture people's behavior in sev...
Article
Theories of dishonest behavior implicitly assume language independence. Here, we investigated this assumption by comparing lying by people using a foreign language versus their native tongue. Participants rolled a die and were paid according to the outcome they reported. Because the outcome was private, they could lie to inflate their profit withou...
Article
Full-text available
Ikizer and Ramirez-Esparza (2017) reported a study suggesting that bilingualism may have a positive impact on people's social skills. They found that a) bilinguals scored higher on a scale that is supposed to reveal social flexibility, and that b) they also report having social interactions more frequently than monolinguals. The authors relate this...
Article
Full-text available
Acquiring and speaking a second language increases demand on the processes of language control for bilingual as compared to monolingual speakers. Language control for bilingual speakers involves the ability to keep the two languages separated to avoid interference and to select one language or the other in a given conversational context. This abili...
Article
Full-text available
Bilingual speakers are suggested to use control processes to avoid linguistic interference from the unintended language. It is debated whether these bilingual language control (BLC) processes are an instantiation of the more domain-general executive control (EC) processes. Previous studies inconsistently report correlations between measures of ling...
Article
For everyday communication, bilingual speakers need to face the complex task of rapidly choosing the most appropriate language given the context, maintaining this choice over the current communicative act, and shielding lexical selection from competing alternatives from non-target languages. Yet, speech production of bilinguals is typically flawles...
Article
The information we obtain from how speakers sound-for example their accent-affects how we interpret the messages they convey. A clear example is foreign accented speech, where reduced intelligibility and speaker's social categorization (out-group member) affect memory and the credibility of the message (e.g., less trustworthiness). In the present s...
Article
Full-text available
A correction to this article has been published and is linked from the HTML and PDF versions of this paper. The error has not been fixed in the paper.
Article
Full-text available
Emotions are at the core of human nature. There is evidence that emotional reactivity in foreign languages compared to native languages is reduced. We explore whether this emotional distance could modulate fear conditioning, an essential mechanism for the understanding and treatment of anxiety disorders. A group of participants was verbally informe...
Article
Full-text available
How flexible is bilingual language control and how does it adapt to the linguistic context of a conversation? We address this by looking at the pattern of switch costs in contexts involving mostly the use of a dominant or non-dominant language. This linguistic context affected switching patterns: switching was equally costly for both languages in a...
Article
We explore the origin of the foreign language effect on moral judgements by assessing whether language context alters the weight given to intentions and outcomes during moral judgement. Specifically, we investigated whether foreign language contexts, compared with native ones, may lead people to focus more on the outcomes of an action and less on t...
Article
People consider choices that involve risk on a daily basis. In principle, willingness to take risks should be independent of the language used while considering the available options. However, research has shown that using a foreign language can increase willingness to take risks, presumably because a foreign language is less emotional. Here, we in...
Article
The role of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in modulating the effect of bilingual experience on cognitive control has been reported at both functional and structural neural levels. Individual differences in the ACC sulcal patterns have been recently correlated with cognitive control efficiency in monolinguals. We aimed to investigate whether di...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cognitive processing requires the ability to flexibly integrate and process information across large brain networks. More information is needed on how brain networks dynamically reorganize to allow such broad communication across many different brain regions in order to integrate the necessary information. Here, we use intracranial EEG to record ne...
Article
Full-text available
We explore the properties of foreigner talk through word reduction. Word reduction signals that the speaker is referring to the same entity as previously and should be preserved for foreigner talk. However, it leads to intelligibility loss, which works against foreigner talk. Pairs of speakers engaged in a task where native speakers talked either t...
Article
Full-text available
Foreign languages are often learned in emotionally neutral academic environments which differ greatly from the familiar context where native languages are acquired. This difference in learning contexts has been argued to lead to reduced emotional resonance when confronted with a foreign language. In the current study, we investigated whether the re...
Data
Empathy questionnaire, Spanish version. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Language production models typically assume that retrieving a word for articulation is a sequential process with substantial functional delays between conceptual, lexical, phonological and motor processing, respectively. Nevertheless, explicit evidence contrasting the spatiotemporal dynamics between different word production components is scarce. H...
Article
Would you kill one person to save five? People are more willing to accept such utilitarian action when using a foreign language than when using their native language. In six experiments, we investigated why foreign-language use affects moral choice in this way. On the one hand, the difficulty of using a foreign language might slow people down and i...
Article
We investigated whether it is possible to study the network dynamics and the anatomical regions involved in the earliest moments of picture naming by using invasive electroencephalogram (EEG) traces to predict naming errors. Four right-handed participants with focal epilepsy explored with extensive stereotactic implant montages that recorded tempor...
Book
Una fascinante aproximación al funcionamiento del bilingüismo en el cerebro humano y cómo este adquiere y procesa el lenguaje. Todos estamos interesados en el lenguaje y nos hemos preguntado alguna vez cómo el cerebro humano lo adquiere y procesa. Pero, ¿cómo conviven dos lenguas en un mismo cerebro y qué implicaciones tiene esa convivencia? Para...
Article
Full-text available
Here we investigated how the language in which a person addresses us, native or foreign, influences subsequent face recognition. In an old/new paradigm, we explored the behavioral and electrophysiological activity associated with face recognition memory. Participants were first presented with faces accompanied by voices speaking either in their nat...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research has revealed that people’s preferences, choices, and judgments are affected by whether information is presented in a foreign or a native language. Here, we review this evidence, focusing on various decision-making domains and advancing a variety of potential explanations for this foreign-language effect on decision making. We interp...
Article
Full-text available
This article proposes that syntactic features of newscasts can act as learned motivational stimuli determining both viewers’ attention and memory for information. An experiment was conducted in which we manipulated the presence of stings (a type of widely used audiovisual connector) and the arousal levels of stories, while participants’ attention a...
Article
Full-text available
Though moral intuitions and choices seem fundamental to our core being, there is surprising new evidence that people resolve moral dilemmas differently when they consider them in a foreign language (Cipolletti et al., 2016; Costa et al., 2014a; Geipel et al., 2015): People are more willing to sacrifice 1 person to save 5 when they use a foreign lan...