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Cognitive control ability mediates prediction costs in monolinguals and bilinguals

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... suppression of highly accessible information) and up-regulatory processes (i.e. recovery from that suppression) as bilingual language regulation. 1 Recent research suggests that regulation of the dominant language is key for attaining high linguistic skill in L2 learners (Bice & Kroll, 2015;Pulido & Dussias, 2020) and in proficient bilinguals (Bogulski et al., 2019;Zirnstein et al., 2018). Of particular relevance here is the study by Zirnstein et al. (2018), who examined electrophysiological responses to semantically expected and unexpected words during sentence reading in English (e.g. ...
... recovery from that suppression) as bilingual language regulation. 1 Recent research suggests that regulation of the dominant language is key for attaining high linguistic skill in L2 learners (Bice & Kroll, 2015;Pulido & Dussias, 2020) and in proficient bilinguals (Bogulski et al., 2019;Zirnstein et al., 2018). Of particular relevance here is the study by Zirnstein et al. (2018), who examined electrophysiological responses to semantically expected and unexpected words during sentence reading in English (e.g. "After their meal, they forgot to leave a ten/tip for the waitress") in monolinguals and in Mandarin-dominant bilinguals who spoke English as the L2. ...
... Notably, however, the past studies examining bilingual language regulation have focused on lexical processes (i.e. Bice & Kroll, 2015;Bogulski et al., 2019;Zirnstein et al., 2018;c.f. Pulido & Dussias, 2020). ...
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What we say generally follows distributional regularities, such as learning to avoid "the asleep dog" because we hear "the dog that's asleep" in its place. However, not everyone follows such regularities. We report data on English monolinguals and Spanish-English bilinguals to examine how working memory mediates variation in a-adjective usage (asleep, afraid), which, unlike typical adjectives (sleepy, frightened), tend to resist attributive use. We replicate previous work documenting this tendency in a sentence production task. Critically, for all speakers, the tendency to use a-adjectives attributively or non-attributively was modulated by individual differences in working memory. But for bilinguals, a-adjective use was additionally modulated by an interaction between working memory and category fluency in the dominant language (English), revealing an interactive role of domain-general and language-related mechanisms that enable regulation of competing (i.e. attributive and non-attributive) alternatives. These results show how bilingualism reveals fundamental variation in language use, memory, and attention.
... One possibility is that extensive experience regulating the dominant L1 allows bilinguals to attain high proficiency in both their languages. Zirnstein, Van Hell, and Kroll (2018) tested this hypothesis by examining the engagement of prediction mechanisms during sentence comprehension in a group of English monolinguals and proficient Mandarin-English bilinguals with L2 English. The authors measured ERP responses while participants read sentences in English containing a target word that was either highly expected (e.g. ...
... A key commonality between the two studies reviewed above is that both bilingual groups grew up in an L1 environment, but were immersed in an L2 (English) environment at the time of testing (Edinburgh, Scotland in Navarro-Torres et al. 2019; Pennsylvania, US in Zirnstein et al. 2018). As mentioned previously, the evidence suggests that L2 immersion reduces the accessibility of the L1 in advanced learners (Baus et al., 2013;Linck et al., 2009), suggesting that L1 regulation is key for learners to develop high L2 proficiency. ...
... It is possible that L2 immersion also affects proficient bilinguals by increasing the demands on L1 regulation, thus triggering a greater need for domain-general control processes. In this sense, L2 immersion may explain why the Navarro-Torres et al. (2019) study found differences in how bilinguals recruited cognitive control and working memory resources when disengaging incorrect interpretations, and may also explain the interaction between L1 fluency and control reported by Zirnstein et al. (2018). If that is correct, in what ways would these control processes adapt? ...
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A goal of early research on language processing was to characterize what is universal about language. Much of the past research focused on native speakers because the native language has been considered as providing privileged truths about acquisition, comprehension, and production. Populations or circumstances that deviated from these idealized norms were of interest but not regarded as essential to our understanding of language. In the past two decades, there has been a marked change in our understanding of how variation in language experience may inform the central and enduring questions about language. There is now evidence for significant plasticity in language learning beyond early childhood, and variation in language experience has been shown to influence both language learning and processing. In this paper, we feature what we take to be the most exciting recent new discoveries suggesting that variation in language experience provides a lens into the linguistic, cognitive, and neural mechanisms that enable language processing.
... In the morphosyntactic literature more generally, there is increasing evidence for individual differences with respect to processing strategies. Of relevance here, intersubject variability in ERP responses has previously been linked to not only experiential factors (see , for a review), but also individual difference measures in both linguistic and cognitive domains (Batterink & Neville, 2013;Kim et al., 2018;Morgan-Short et al., 2012;Pakulak & Neville, 2010;Pélissier, 2020;Qi et al., 2017;Zirnstein et al., 2018). This work has shown that brain responses elicited by grammatical violations may not always be related to fixed and clearly identifiable components, but rather vary on a continuum ranging from preponderant-negative to preponderant-positive responses (Kim et al., 2018;Qi et al., 2017;Tanner, 2019;Tanner et al., 2013. ...
... For verbal fluency, the rationale is that individuals with larger vocabularies (i.e., those who name more noun exemplars in the task) have greater experience with gender-to-noun-form correspondences, further defining the differences in the relative schematicity between the two gender categories. The AX-CPT is a measure of cognitive control engagement that pits effects of reactive response inhibition against the effects of proactive goal maintenance and conflict monitoring, and that has been previously shown to modulate individuals' brain responses during sentence comprehension (Zirnstein et al., 2018). We present an analogy between processing determiner-noun grammatical gender violations and AY response times (as elaborated in below in Section 3.2.4), ...
... We focused specifically on comparing AY versus BY to measure the degree to which the cue bias negatively impacted probe responses, using BY as the reference level. For the individual differences analyses, average RTs in AY trials were calculated for each participant and taken as an index of processing difficulty involved in inhibiting an incorrect response when predictions are disconfirmed (e.g., Zirnstein et al., 2018). ...
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Studies of Spanish grammatical gender have shown that native speakers exploit gender cues in determiners to facilitate speech processing and are sensitive to gender mismatches. However, past research has not considered attested distributional asymmetries between masculine and feminine gender, collapsing performance on trials with one or the other gender into a single analysis. We use event-related potentials to investigate whether masculine and feminine grammatical gender elicit qualitatively different brain responses. Forty monolingual Spanish speakers read sentences that were well-formed or contained determiner-noun gender violations. Half of the nouns were masculine and the other half were feminine. Consistent with previous research, brain responses varied along a continuum between LAN-and P600-dominant effects for both gender categories. However, results showed that individuals' ERP response dominance (LAN/P600) systematically differed across the two genders: participants who showed a LAN-dominant response to masculine-noun violations were more likely to show a P600 effect in response to feminine-noun violations. Correlations with individual difference measures further revealed that responses to masculine-noun violations were modulated by performance on the AX-CPT, a measure of cog-nitive control, whereas responses to feminine-noun violations were modulated by lexical knowledge, as indexed by verbal fluency. Together, the results demonstrate that even when processing features of language that belong to the same "natural class," native speakers can exhibit patterns of brain activity attuned to distributional patterns of language use. The inherent variability in native speaker processing is, therefore, an important factor when explaining purported deviations from the "native norm" reported in other types of populations. K E Y W O R D S event-related potentials, LAN, language variation, morphosyntax, P600, Spanish
... Second, studies with proficient or relatively proficient bilinguals suggest that the engagement of cognitive control may go beyond the inhibitory or reactive account and also be proactive and, thus, adaptive (e.g., Gullifer et al., 2018;Morales, Gómez-Ariza, & Bajo, 2013;Zirnstein, van Hell, & Kroll, 2018) as hypothesized by the ACH model . Also, recently it has been argued that the Flanker and the Simon task, the tasks used by Linck and Weiss (2015) and Stone and Pili-Moss (2016) to assess cognitive control in their respective studies, may have low task reliability, and thus, using them as the only assessment of cognitive control may not provide the best measure of one's general cognitive control ability (Paap & Greenberg, 2013). ...
... Participant data for these measures were examined for outliers by checking whether any of the participant averages were more than 2.5 SDs from the group mean, and no outliers were identified. Descriptively, participants produced the fewest percentage of errors in the AX and BY conditions, whereas the BX and AY conditions produced the highest amount of errors, which seemed to be consistent with previous studies that reported performance on the AX-CPT task among language learners (e.g., Morales et al., 2013;Zirnstein et al., 2018). Reaction time was faster for trials starting with a 'B' and slower for trials starting with an "A". ...
... Finally, an interesting direction for future research is related to the tentative finding of a relationship between speed of processing and L2 proficiency, as indexed by the control condition (BY trials) on the AX-CPT task. Although we only examined simple correlations, future research may want to examine whether individuals with higher processing speed abilities are be better equipped to engage cognitive control mechanisms in order to, for example, suppress a previously formed expectation (see Zirnstein et al., 2018 for a similar pattern of results with proficient bilingual speakers). This finding should be considered to be secondary, although it is suggestive that abilities related to the use and coordination of different cognitive control mechanisms may also be important. ...
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In the past 20 years, the field of bilingualism has made a substantial effort to better understand the set of cognitive mechanisms that allow bilinguals to functionally manage and use their lan- guages. Among the mechanisms that have been identified, cognitive control has been posited to be key for proficient bilingual language processing and use. However, the role of cognitive control in developing bilingualism, i.e., among adult learners learning a second language (L2), is still unclear with some studies indicating a relationship between cognitive control and adult L2 development/developing bilingualism and other studies finding the opposite pattern. This set of contradictory findings merits further investigation in order to deepen our understanding of the role that cognitive control plays during the process of becoming bilingual. In the present study, we aimed to address this open question by examining the role of cognitive control among adult L2 learners of Spanish at the intermediate level using multiple behavioral measures as a way to provide a multidimensional perspective on the role of cognitive control and developing bilin- gualism. Our results indicate a significant relationship between cognitive control abilities, specific to reactive control, and overall L2 proficiency. We also found a significant relationship between speed of processing and overall L2 proficiency. The results of this study contribute to the existing body of knowledge on cognitive factors related to developing bilingualism and provide critical new insight into the underlying cognitive mechanisms that may contribute to adult L2 learners becoming bilingual.
... In recent years, the study of cognitive control has become central to our understanding of language processing [3][4][5][6]. For example, several empirical studies suggest an involvement of conflict resolution processes during lexical access [7][8][9], sentence production [10], and sentence comprehension [11][12][13][14]. Likewise, a number of lesion studies have established a link between cortical regions considered to be responsible for resolving interference and language abilities [15][16][17][18]. ...
... Prior research suggests that, when processing syntactic ambiguity, L2 speakers have greater difficulties revising misinterpretations [48] and exhibit different (or greater variability in) attachment preferences from native (L1) speakers [49][50][51]. Although general differences between L1 and L2 processing have been previously explained in terms of processing constraints in the L2 [52], more recent evidence suggests that both languages engage the same neural and cognitive processes [53][54][55] and that these differences reflect variability in proficiency [56], speed of lexical access [57], and cognitive control ability [14]. In this sense, L2 processing may be more susceptible to irrelevant (within-language and cross-language) interference [58], given that both languages compete for cognitive resources. ...
... The bilinguals tested in the present study all came from a non-English speaking country, but became immersed in an English context later in their lives as part of their college education, while still maintaining dominance in their L1 (despite having restricted L1 exposure and use, as Table 1 suggests). A group of bilinguals with similar characteristics was examined in Zirnstein and colleagues [14], who found that, for L2 immersed bilinguals (who were also L1 dominant), the ability to generate (and recover from) prediction errors in the L2 was mediated by a combination of cognitive control and language regulatory abilities. As such, the results by Zirnstein and colleagues [14] suggested that the experiences associated with becoming immersed in an L2 environment seems to impose unique demands on the language and cognitive system. ...
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Bilinguals learn to resolve conflict between their two languages and that skill has been hypothesized to create long-term adaptive changes in cognitive functioning. Yet, little is known about how bilinguals recruit cognitive control to enable efficient use of one of their languages, especially in the less skilled and more effortful second language (L2). Here we examined how real-time cognitive control engagement influences L2 sentence comprehension (i.e., conflict adaptation). We tested a group of English monolinguals and a group of L2 English speakers using a recently-developed cross-task adaptation paradigm. Stroop sequences were pseudo-randomly interleaved with a visual-world paradigm in which participants were asked to carry out spoken instructions that were either syntactically ambiguous or unambiguous. Consistent with previous research, eye-movement results showed that Stroop-related conflict improved the ability to engage correct-goal interpretations, and disengage incorrect-goal interpretations, during ambiguous instructions. Such cognitive-to-language modulations were similar in both groups, but only in the engagement piece. In the disengagement portion, the modulation emerged earlier in bilinguals than in monolinguals, suggesting group differences in attentional disengagement following cognitive control recruitment. Additionally, incorrect-goal eye-movements were modulated by individual differences in working memory, although differently for each group, suggesting an involvement of both language-specific and domain-general resources.
... What is the relation between language regulation and cognitive control? The regulation of the bilingual's two languages may engage domain general mechanisms of cognitive control but these two types of control may be related but not identical (e.g., Kang, Ma, Li, Kroll, & Guo, 2020;Zirnstein, van Hell, & Kroll, 2018). Studies that have relied on switching paradigms alone to answer this question (e.g., language vs. task switching) have tended to report that the mechanisms underlying language and cognitive control are similar (e.g., Declerck et al., 2021). ...
... However, few studies have directly compared these two types of language experiences and asked if the consequences they confer are distinct. Moreover, few studies that have investigated the relation between language regulation and cognitive control have utilized independent measures (but see Zirnstein et al., 2018). In the current study, a group of Chinese-English bilinguals who were immersed in an L2 English context performed a similar language 1 Cognitive control is a complex mechanism, with different control measures likely to tap into a domain-general network in different ways. ...
... Liu, Zhang, Blanco-Elorrieta, He, & Chen, 2020). The different patterns we have reported for the two immersion contexts also suggest that bilinguals who exercised more language regulation relied more on cognitive control during language production, consistent with previous studies (e.g., Beatty-Martinez et al., 2020;Zirnstein et al., 2018). ...
Article
When bilinguals switch languages they regulate the more dominant language to enable spoken production in the less dominant language. How do they engage cognitive control to accomplish regulation? We examined this issue by comparing the consequences of training on language switching in two different contexts. Chinese-English bilinguals were immersed in English (L2) while studying abroad (this study) or in Chinese (L1) in their native language environment (Zhang et al., 2015). In each study, participants performed the AX-CPT task while EEG was recorded and were then trained on language switching. While Zhang et al. found that training enhanced proactive control in the L1 context, there were no effects of training under L2 immersion conditions. Critically, L2 immersed bilinguals revealed enhanced proactive control at pre-test and greater L1 inhibition on language switching relative to L1 immersed bilinguals. We hypothesize that L2 immersion creates a natural training context that increases reliance on proactive control to enable regulation of the L1.
... Research on bilingualism, too, attests to this idea (KK Nair, Rayner, Siyambalapitiya, & Biedermann, 2021). In proficient bilinguals, brain potentials reveal that the ability to recover from prediction errors during L2 sentence reading is mediated by individual differences in control ability, but this effect depends on L1 verbal fluency (Zirnstein, van Hell, & Kroll, 2018). The interaction between control and fluency suggests that successful L2 prediction may depend on language-related processes that are partially overlapping with more domain-general control processes. ...
... As Bronfenbrenner (1977, p. 518) noted, "in ecological research, the principal main effects are likely to be interactions." To illustrate this point, we return to the study by Zirnstein et al. (2018; see 'Discovery acts on variety' subsection). ...
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An important aim of research on bilingualism is to understand how the brain adapts to the demands of using more than one language. In this paper, we argue that pursuing such an aim entails valuing our research as a discovery process that acts on variety. Prescriptions about sample size and methodology, rightly aimed at establishing a sound basis for generalization, should be understood as being in the service of science as a discovery process. We propose and illustrate by drawing from previous and contemporary examples within brain and cognitive sciences, that this necessitates exploring the neural bases of bilingual phenotypes: the adaptive variety induced through the interplay of biology and culture. We identify the conceptual and methodological prerequisites for such exploration and briefly allude to the publication practices that afford it as a community practice and to the risk of allowing methodological prescriptions, rather than discovery, to dominate the research endeavor. "We have to remember that what we observe is not nature in itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning." Werner Heisenberg (1958)
... For instance, if productive language skills or vocabulary are important aspects of language skill for a particular study, measures such as picture naming tasks (e.g., Multilingual Naming Test; Gollan et al., 2012) and verbal fluency tasks (e.g., Delis et al., 2001) are relatively simple tasks that can be used to objectively measure productive language skills or vocabulary. Additionally, when such objective proficiency measures are combined with cognitive tasks, we can begin to understand what cognitive processes may underlie different language processes (e.g., Zirnstein et al., 2018) -something that is critical to understand in order to uncover the underlying mechanisms of any bilingual differences in cognition. Moreover, objective proficiency measures also better control for cultural differences in self-ratings of language proficiency (e.g., Hoshino and Kroll, 2008;Tomoschuk et al., in press), particularly when comparing multiple groups of bilinguals (e.g., Japanese-English bilinguals vs. Spanish-English bilinguals). ...
... Given the lack of detailed information about participants in the majority of presently published works, it is unsurprising that it is still largely unknown how these different language experiences and skills interact to affect cognition. However, recent research suggests that a complex relation exists between language processing, language regulation, and cognitive control (e.g., Zirnstein et al., 2018). By taking a more nuanced approach to understanding and reporting participants' language backgrounds, we may begin to uncover why and how variability in language background shapes cognition. ...
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Within the past decade, there has been an explosion of research investigating the cognitive consequences of bilingualism. However, a controversy has arisen specifically involving research claiming a “bilingual advantage” in executive function. In this brief review, we re-examine the nature of the “bilingual advantage” and suggest three themes for future research. First, there must be a theoretical account of how specific variation in language experience impacts aspects of executive function and domain general cognition. Second, efforts toward adequately characterizing the participants tested will be critical to interpreting results. Finally, designing studies that employ converging analytical approaches and sensitive methodologies will be important to advance our knowledge of the dynamics between bilingual language experience and cognition.
... Grandaveraged waveforms were derived by averaging individual ERPs. Two time windows were chosen based on the literature (Chou, Huang, Lee, & Lee, 2014;DeLong et al., 2014;Federmeier et al., 2007;Federmeier, Mai, & Kutas, 2005;Thornhill & Van Petten, 2012;Zirnstein, van Hell, & Kroll, 2018): 300-500 ms for the N400 and 500-900 ms for the late PNPs. N400 amplitudes were measured based on the averaged waveforms across five central-parietal electrode sites (Cz, CPz, Pz, CP1, CP2), where such responses are characteristically most prominent (e.g., Brothers et al., 2015;Federmeier, Mai, & Kutas, 2005;Kutas & Federmeier, 2011;Kutas & Hillyard, 1984;. ...
... N400 amplitudes were measured based on the averaged waveforms across five central-parietal electrode sites (Cz, CPz, Pz, CP1, CP2), where such responses are characteristically most prominent (e.g., Brothers et al., 2015;Federmeier, Mai, & Kutas, 2005;Kutas & Federmeier, 2011;Kutas & Hillyard, 1984;. PNP amplitudes were measured at midline electrode sites (F1, Fz, F2, FCz, FC1, FC2, C1, Cz, C2, CP1, CP2, CPz, P1, Pz, P2, POz, Oz), where PNP effects are most prominent (DeLong et al., 2014;Federmeier et al., 2007;Kuperberg et al., 2020;Thornhill & Van Petten, 2012;Zirnstein, van Hell, & Kroll, 2018). To examine the anterior-posterior scalp distribution of the PNPs, PNP amplitudes were further averaged within three scalp regions of interest (ROIs): middle anterior (MA, including F1, Fz, F2, FCz, FC1, FC2), middle central (MC, including C1, Cz, C2, CP1, CP2, CPz), and middle posterior (MP, including P1, Pz, P2, POz, Oz). ...
Article
The current study employed electrophysiological measures to investigate semantic processing within a local classifier-noun phrase in Chinese. Toward this aim, semantic congruence between classifiers and nouns was manipulated, resulting in four conditions: (i) a strong-constraint/high-cloze plausible (SP) condition, (ii) a weak-constraint/low-cloze plausible (WP) condition, (iii) a strong-constraint/implausible (SI) condition, and (iv) a weak-constraint/implausible (WI) condition. Participants were asked to judge the acceptability of the classifier-noun pairs. Our results corroborated previous findings by showing that the processing of classifier-noun congruence is sensitive to manipulations of constraint and cloze probability, as indicated by a gradient N400 effect (SP < WP < SI/WI). In addition, WP (mean cloze score = 0.04) elicited a larger frontal-central positivity than SP (mean cloze score = 0.45) in the time window of 500-900 ms, whereas no such differences were observed between SI and WI. In the same time window, implausible nouns elicited a larger central-parietal positivity than plausible nouns. The results are discussed in terms of a functional dissociation between these two types of post-N400 positivity (PNP): a more frontally distributed PNP associated with successful post-lexical composition/ integration, and a more centrally distributed PNP elicited by plausibility-driven reanalysis after failed integration attempts.
... Different aspects of bilingual language experience have been related to the presence and form of cognitive consequences (Bak, Vega-Mendoza & Sorace, 2014;Blumenfeld & Marian, 2013;Emmorey, Luk, Pyers & Bialystok, 2008;Prior & Gollan, 2011;Vega-Mendoza, West, Sorace & Bak, 2015). Recent studies (e.g., Zirnstein, Van Hell & Kroll, 2018) have shown that native language regulation and domain general control make separable contributions to patterns of bilingual language processing. While language regulation may draw on resources that are shared with the network that supports cognitive control, they are not the same. ...
... While not the primary focus of the current study, the mixed dominance of the Spanish-English bilinguals in Experiment 2 provided an opportunity to examine the effects of the effects of language dominance. Given the nature of language regulation and how it reflects the demands of current language use and context (Zirnstein et al., 2018), bilinguals whose L1 and dominant language differ may allow us to better understand the relationship between language regulation and new vocabulary learning. The Spanish-English bilinguals differed in relative language proficiency; some retained their Spanish-dominance (n = 11) and others had become English-dominant (n = 8). ...
Article
Bilingualism imposes costs to language processing but benefits to word learning. We test a new hypothesis that relates costs in language processing at study to benefits in learning at test as desirable difficulties. While previous studies have taught vocabulary via bilinguals’ native language (L1), recent evidence suggests that bilinguals acquire regulatory skill in the L1 to coordinate the use of each language. We hypothesized that L1 regulation underlies the observed costs and benefits, with word learning advantages depending on learning via the L1. Four groups learned novel Dutch words via English translations: English monolinguals, and English–Spanish, Spanish–English, and Chinese–English bilinguals. Only English–Spanish bilinguals demonstrated a word learning advantage, but they adopted a costly study strategy compared to monolinguals. The results suggest that bilingual advantages in vocabulary learning depend on learning via the L1 or dominant language because learning via the L1 allows bilinguals to engage regulatory skills that benefit learning.
... Importantly, L2 immersion status may thus be an alternate way through which bilinguals develop high entropy (e.g., Gullifer et al., 2018), favoring a proactive control adjustment to better function in the environment. This issue is also relevant for the monolingual-bilingual comparison as recent research has shown that immersion status may be responsible for differences in cognitive control recruitment strategies (Zirnstein et al., 2018;Navarro-Torres et al., 2019). However, the term "immersion, " i.e., duration of residence in an L2 context, could be argued to be a demographic, rather than a linguistic variable. ...
... The bilinguals examined in this study all share the experience of living in a context that favors the use of their L2 and restricts the use of their L1. Previous research highlights the complexity of the interplay between L1 down-regulation and L2 up-regulation during L2 immersion (e.g., Zirnstein et al., 2018). Future research should therefore consider how different patterns of association may emerge for other bilingual phenotypes (e.g., German-English codeswitching bilinguals immersed in their native language). ...
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Bilingualism may modulate executive functions (EFs), but the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are poorly understood. In this study, we investigated two potential sources of variability in bilinguals' EF performance: (1) interactional contexts and code-switching, and (2) dominance profiles. Previous research on code-switching often relied on self-reports of regular code-switching habits. In this study, we investigated the effects of experimentally induced language modes (single language versus code-switching modes) on bilinguals' EF performance. Crucially, in the bilingual conditions, we differentiated between different types of intra-sentential code-switching (Insertion, Alternation, and Dense code-switching). Moreover, we investigated the interaction of the effects of temporary language modes with bilinguals' sociolinguistic code-switching habits. All our participants were L1-dominant German-English bilinguals (N = 29) immersed in an L2 context. We assessed the effects of dominance by correlating individual bilinguals' L1-dominance with their EF performance. In addition, we investigated whether language modes activate different EF patterns in bilinguals, as opposed to monolinguals, i.e., individuals who have no additional language to suppress. Based on models of bilingual language processing, we predicted our bilinguals to display the best EF performance in L2 single language contexts, as these require them to activate inhibitory schemata to suppress their dominant L1. Indeed, bilinguals performed better in the single language than in the code-switching conditions. The results also suggested that bilinguals activated more inhibitory control compared to monolinguals, supporting the notion that bilingual processing involves inhibition. The task conditions inducing different code-switching modes differed only in terms of the predictors explaining EF performance in the regression. We observed negative correlations between the frequency of engaging in a given type of code-switching and performance in language modes inducing non-corresponding control modes. The results suggested that Dense code-switching draws upon proactive control modes that differ from the reactive control involved in Alternation. Importantly, bilinguals' dominance profiles played a crucial role in explaining EF performance. The more balanced individuals in our overall L1-dominant sample displayed better EF performance in the bilingual conditions, suggesting that more balanced bilingualism trains the control modes involved in code-switching. This highlights the importance of assessing bilinguals' sociolinguistic profiles in bilingualism research.
... Some evidence for this claim comes from studies reporting a late frontal positivity in response to words that do not violate strong lexical constraints of their preceding contexts (e.g. Chow, Lau, Wang & Phillips, 2018;Freunberger & Roehm, 2016;Thornhill & Van Petten, 2012;Zirnstein, van Hell & Kroll, 2018;). These "lowconstraint" frontal positivities may occur if a new input to the situation model is particularly informative, triggering a large update, even when the prior situation model had not led to strong lower-level predictions of upcoming semantic features. ...
... Moreover, conditions evoking the late positivities are also likely to vary between individuals, where variability in linguistic and domain-general cognitive abilities may predict differences in the amplitude of these components (e.g. see Zirnstein, van Hell & Kroll, 2018 Finally, within this generative framework, we can begin to understand why the brain should engage different neurocognitive mechanisms in response to predictions that are confirmed versus predictions that are strongly violated. This is because the framework explicitly links the process of language comprehension to language adaptation (see also Kleinschmidt & Jaeger, 2015;Chang, Dell, & Bock, 2006;Dell & Chang, 2014). ...
Article
It has been proposed that hierarchical prediction is a fundamental computational principle underlying neurocognitive processing. Here, we ask whether the brain engages distinct neurocognitive mechanisms in response to inputs that fulfill versus violate strong predictions at different levels of representation during language comprehension. Participants read three-sentence scenarios in which the third sentence constrained for a broad event structure, for example, { Agent caution animate–Patient}. “High-constraint” contexts additionally constrained for a specific event/lexical item, for example, a two-sentence context about a beach, lifeguards, and sharks constrained for the event { Lifeguards cautioned Swimmers} and the specific lexical item “swimmers.” “Low-constraint” contexts did not constrain for any specific event/lexical item. We measured ERPs on critical nouns that fulfilled and/or violated each of these constraints. We found clear, dissociable effects to fulfilled semantic predictions (a reduced N400), to event/lexical prediction violations (an increased “late frontal positivity”), and to event structure/animacy prediction violations (an increased “late posterior positivity/P600”). We argue that the late frontal positivity reflects a large change in activity associated with successfully updating the comprehender's current situation model with new unpredicted information. We suggest that the late posterior positivity/P600 is triggered when the comprehender detects a conflict between the input and her model of the communicator and communicative environment. This leads to an initial failure to incorporate new unpredicted input, which may be followed by second-pass attempts to make sense of the discourse through reanalysis, repair, or reinterpretation. Together, these findings provide strong evidence that confirmed and violated predictions at different levels of representation manifest as distinct spatiotemporal neural signatures.
... Exhibition activities require complex organization and a wide audience. The exhibition advertisement should take the exhibition as the carrier and combine the activities of multiple media forms [5]. The primary pursuit of the exhibition scope report is novelty and the attitude of "dare to be the first in the world". ...
... This has become the focus of the industry's common concern. If you want to hold an exhibition well, you must respond to the audience 5 and come up with a plan to publicize it to the masses. This is the focus of the plan. ...
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With the development and innovation of my country’s market economy, advertising is playing an increasingly important role in the market, and the effective combination of advertising and exhibition marketing can greatly increase product sales and promote economic development. The purpose of this article is to study the control of exhibition advertising costs in the scheduling plan. In order to evaluate whether the scheduling is efficient and reasonable, this paper proposes an evaluation model of the exhibition advertisement scheduling plan with the best overall cost. This article focuses on the development of conference and exhibition advertising cost control based on the scheduling plan, and a stable dynamic advertising cost model established by the economic market to fully display advertising information to enterprises in related fields of the technology market, and at the same time release their needs, to obtain the optimal solution. The experimental results show that through short-term scheduling and scheduling, the cost of advertising in exhibitions can be dynamically controlled in real time and maximized in the pursuit of benefits, so as to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results for advertisers and enterprises.
... Event-related brain potentials provide detailed information about timing (see Moreno et al., 2008, for an overview of ERPs in the study of bilingual language processing). Several research teams have investigated bilingual populations using ERPs (Liu and Perfetti, 2003;Moreno and Kutas, 2005;Ojima et al., 2005;Kotz, 2009;Van Heuven and Dijkstra, 2010;Garcia-Sierra et al., 2011;Martin et al., 2013;Grundy et al., 2017;Zirnstein et al., 2018). Researchers have used this methodology to specifically test the bilingual advantage by measuring the effects of learning a second language on brain activation (Sullivan et al., 2014;Moreno and Lee, 2015) and by comparing bilinguals' and monolinguals' levels of executive control Phillips, 2012, 2016;Kuipers and Thierry, 2013;Coderre and Van Heuven, 2014;Moreno et al., 2014;Heidlmayr et al., 2015;Grundy et al., 2017;Zirnstein et al., 2018). ...
... Several research teams have investigated bilingual populations using ERPs (Liu and Perfetti, 2003;Moreno and Kutas, 2005;Ojima et al., 2005;Kotz, 2009;Van Heuven and Dijkstra, 2010;Garcia-Sierra et al., 2011;Martin et al., 2013;Grundy et al., 2017;Zirnstein et al., 2018). Researchers have used this methodology to specifically test the bilingual advantage by measuring the effects of learning a second language on brain activation (Sullivan et al., 2014;Moreno and Lee, 2015) and by comparing bilinguals' and monolinguals' levels of executive control Phillips, 2012, 2016;Kuipers and Thierry, 2013;Coderre and Van Heuven, 2014;Moreno et al., 2014;Heidlmayr et al., 2015;Grundy et al., 2017;Zirnstein et al., 2018). In this review, I focus on studies that used the Stroop task to investigate how the cognitive processes underlying the bilingual advantage unfold over time Phillips, 2012, 2016;Coderre and Van Heuven, 2014;Heidlmayr et al., 2015). ...
Article
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Empirical evidence has supported the idea that the bilingual advantage is a question of nuanced differences between bilinguals and monolinguals. In this article, I review findings from studies using eye tracking, mouse tracking, and event-related potentials (ERPs) which are particularly suited to measure time. Understanding the timing of the processes underlying executive function is crucial in evaluating the intricacies of the bilingual mind. Furthermore, I provide recommendations on how to best use these timing techniques to compare bilinguals and monolinguals. Temporal differences can characterize ongoing discussions of the bilingual advantage and help explain conflicting findings. Methodological and analytical innovations to better investigate the timing of the cognitive processes at play will inform a wide range of areas in cognitive science.
... As proposed by Haykin [4,5], cognitive control implies a perception-action cycle, on which the recently-perceived stimuli (in conjunction with learned information across time) have an impact on the decisions made by the controller. Cognitive control is present in the decision making of multiple human daily tasks, for instance in word prediction while reading [10], and in general, it allows the individual to adapt when conflicts or contradictions with previous experience and expectations emerge. ...
Article
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Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) relates to the deployment of decision-making processes at the network edge or mobile devices rather than in a centralized network entity like the cloud. This paradigm shift is acknowledged as one key pillar to enable autonomous operation and self-awareness in mobile devices in IoT. Under this paradigm, we focus on mobility-based services (MBSs), where mobile devices are expected to perform energy-efficient GPS data acquisition while also providing location accuracy. We rely on a fully on-device Cognitive Dynamic Systems (CDS) platform to propose and evaluate a cognitive controller aimed at both tackling the presence of uncertainties and exploiting the mobility information learned by such CDS toward energy-efficient and accurate location tracking via mobility-aware sampling policies. We performed a set of experiments and validated that the proposed control strategy outperformed similar approaches in terms of energy savings and spatio-temporal accuracy in LBS and MBS for smartphone devices.
... Many researchers have argued and demonstrated that dual-language use requires greater domain-general coordination (e.g., Abutalebi & Green, 2007;Blanco-Elorrieta & Pylkkänen, 2016;Calabria, Costa, & Green, 2018;Kroll & Bialystok, 2013). Language processes in bilinguals and L2 learners recruit more broadly-distributed regions (including the right hemisphere especially for the less proficient language), and language processes are more closely coordinated with domain-general cognitive control, monitoring, and attentional mechanisms (e.g., Teubner-Rhodes et al., 2016;Zirnstein, Van Hell, & Kroll, 2018). Previous research has identified increased activity in the right posterior parietal cortex under more difficult word-finding conditions, which they associated with greater sustained attention and executive control that is drawn upon to resolve difficult linguistic processes (Dräger et. ...
Article
An increasing body of research has investigated how bilingual language experience changes brain structure and function, including changes to task-free, or “resting-state” brain connectivity. Such findings provide important evidence about how the brain continues to be shaped by different language experiences throughout the lifespan. The neural effects of bilingual language experience can provide evidence about the additional processing demands placed on the linguistic and/or executive systems by dual-language use. While considerable research has used MRI to examine where these changes occur, such methods cannot reveal the temporal dynamics of functioning brain networks at rest. The current study used data from task-free electroencephalograms (EEGs) to disentangle how the linguistic and cognitive demands of bilingual language use impact brain functioning. Data analyzed from 106 bilinguals and 96 monolinguals revealed that bilinguals had greater alpha power, and significantly greater and broader coherence in the alpha and beta frequency ranges than monolinguals. Follow up analyses showed that higher alpha was related to language control: more second-language use, higher native-language proficiency, and earlier age of second-language acquisition. Bilateral beta power was related to native-language proficiency, whereas theta was related to native-language proficiency only in left-hemisphere electrodes. The results contribute to our understanding of how the linguistic and cognitive requirements of dual-language use shape intrinsic brain activity, and what the broader implications for information processing may be.
... L'absence de différence entre les deux groupes de participants et l'effet positif d'une amorce cross-linguistique sur le temps de réponse et la justesse des réponses, mais uniquement dans le groupe bilingue, amènent les auteurs à conclure que les deux systèmes phonologiques et les deux systèmes phono-graphémique sont activés simultanément (VanWijnendaele & Brysbaert, 2002). L'apprenant d'une L2 doit par conséquent dédier une partie de son attention à gérer ces interférences (Zirnstein, van Hell, & Kroll, 2018). Or l'attention est un des premiers facteurs de progression de l'apprentissage (N., Ellis, 2006). ...
Conference Paper
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Cette étude vise à mesurer l’acquisition des relations phono-graphémiques chez des apprenants de français langue étrangère (=FLE) en contexte scolaire et à identifier d’éventuelles interférences entre la langue des apprenants (allemand) et la langue en cours d’acquisition (français). En effet, la recherche a montré que l’activation des systèmes phonologiques relatifs aux langues de l’apprenant n’était pas spécifique. Cette co-activation peut produire des interférences pouvant limiter l’apprentissage des correspondances phono-graphémiques de la langue étrangère. 45 ado-lescents francophones et 45 germanophones ont participé à cette étude. Ils devaient identifier la forme graphémique d’un stimulus oral dans une tâche de dictée composée de 47 pseudo-mots susceptibles de générer des interfé-rences cross-linguistiques. Les résultats analysés par une étude descriptive et des modèles statistiques multiniveaux ont montré qu’après 330 heures de leçons de français les apprenants germanophones identifient correctement 50% des formes écrites, que leur probabilité de se tromper est toujours si-gnificativement supérieure à celle d’un francophone, que les voyelles nasa-les du français sont les phonèmes dont les CPG sont les plus difficiles à identifier pour des germanophones et les plus faciles pour des francopho-nes, et que les erreurs commises lors de l’écriture des voyelles nasales sont principalement des erreurs phonologiques. Ces résultats semblent indiquer qu’il existe des interférences fortes entre les deux langues des apprenants qui limitent l’acquisition implicite des correspondances phono-graphémiques. Les implications de ces résultats sont mises en perspective pour la didactique du FLE en milieu scolaire.
... Recent studies suggest that bilinguals come to coordinate the use of the two languages and that, as a result, they acquire the ability to coordinate inhibitory control functions more generally (e.g., Morales, Gómez-Ariza, & Bajo, 2013). But language regulation and cognitive control are not identical; they draw on the same neural networks that enable control more generally but the way that language is used will tune the control networks in a manner that may reflect a more complex modulation of domain general processes (for an example of how prediction processes in L2 sentence processing for immersed bilinguals are modulated by the joint influence of language regulation and inhibitory control, see Zirnstein, Van Hell, & Kroll, 2018). ...
Article
Bilingualism is a complex life experience. Second language (L2) learning and bilingualism take place in many different contexts. To develop a comprehensive account of dual-language experience requires research that examines individuals who are learning and using two languages in both the first language (L1) and second language (L2) environments. In this article, we review studies that exploit the presence of an international research network on bilingualism to investigate the role of the environment and some the unique characteristics of L2 learning and bilingual language usage in different locations. We ask how the context of learning affects the acquisition of the L2 and the ability to control the use of each language, how language processing is changed by the patterns of language usage in different places (e.g., whether bilinguals have been immersed in the L2 environment for an extended period of time or whether they code-switch), and how the bilingualism of the community itself influences learning and language use.
... doi: bioRxiv preprint first posted online Aug. 31, 2018; anteriorly distributed late positivities have sometimes been reported in less constraining contexts (e.g. Chow, Lau, Wang & Phillips, 2018;Thornhill & Van Petten, 2012;Zirnstein, van Hell & Kroll, 2018). It will be important for future studies to investigate this systematically. ...
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Hierarchical prediction has been proposed as a fundamental computational principle underlying neurocognitive processing. Here we ask whether the brain engages distinct neurocognitive mechanisms in response to inputs that fulfill versus violate strong predictions at different levels of representation during language comprehension. Participants read three-sentence scenarios in which a verb in the third sentence constrained for a broad event structure and the animacy of an upcoming noun ("they cautioned the..."). High Constraint (HC) contexts additionally constrained for a specific event and lexical item (e.g. following a two-sentence context about a beach, lifeguards and sharks, "they cautioned the..."). Low Constraint (LC) contexts did not constrain for any specific event/lexical item. We measured ERPs on critical nouns that fulfilled and/or violated each of these predictions. We found clear dissociable effects to fulfilled semantic predictions (a reduced N400), to event/lexical prediction violations (an increased anteriorly-distributed late positivity), and to event structure/animacy prediction violations (an increased posteriorly-distributed late positivity/semantic P600). We argue that the anterior late positivity reflected the successful updating of the comprehender's existing mental model with new unpredicted input, which necessarily entailed the suppression of the incorrect lexical prediction. We suggest that the posterior late positivity/P600 reflected a failure to incorporate new unpredicted input into the comprehender's current mental model, and possibly a reanalysis of the previous inputs in attempts to revise or repair this model. Together, these findings provide strong evidence that confirmed and violated predictions at different levels of representation manifest as distinct spatiotemporal neural signatures.
... Bilinguals have the additional demand of regulating the co-activation, and often competition, between languages. While such a task is demanding, a bilingual's skill at cross-language regulation can lead to better language comprehension, even in the less proficient L2. Zirnstein, van Hell, and Kroll (2018), for example, have shown that better regulatory skill provides L2 readers an opportunity to engage in reading strategies that might otherwise be prohibitive or costly. In this study, Chinese-English bilinguals were asked to read sentences in the L2, English, while their EEG was recorded. ...
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The use of two languages is common, but the circumstances that give rise to bilingualism are diverse. Recent discussions about the consequences of bilingualism have focused on how variation in language experience and use may differentially shape the engagement of cognitive control. In this paper, we illustrate the role of language variation in the observed consequences of bilingualism for language processing, language learning, and the neural mechanisms that support them. Like Green and Abutalebi (2013), we argue that the neurocognitive consequences of bilingualism are shaped by the specific ways in which the two languages are engaged. That process may reflect individual variation in cognitive control, experience in language regulation, and the influence of the environment in which the two languages were learned and are used actively. The emerging pattern is complex but systematic, with the influence of language experience sometimes revealed in behavior but often seen only in brain activity.
... A related line of research studying prediction during L1 and L2 language comprehension suggests that bilingual readers and listeners may also use sentence structure and syntactic information to guide the selection of target words embedded in the sentence and constrain the degree of language-nonselective access (cf. Zirnstein, Van Hell & Kroll, 2018). For example, Foucart, Martin, Moreno, and Costa (2014) had Spanish-Catalan bilinguals and French-Spanish bilinguals read semantically constraining sentences in Spanish in which the gender marking of the article preceding the sentence-final noun either matched or did not match the expected word (e.g., "The pirate had a secret map, but he never found the [masculine] treasure [expected target] / the [feminine] cave [unexpected target] he was looking for."). ...
Article
In their keynote paper, Dijkstra, Wahl, Buytenhuijs, van Halem, Al-jibouri, de Korte, and Rekké (2018) present a computational model of bilingual word recognition and translation, Multilink, that integrates and further refines the architecture and processing principles of two influential models of bilingual word processing: the Bilingual Activation Model (BIA/BIA+) and the Revised Hierarchical model (RHM). Unlike the earlier models, Multilink has been implemented as a computational model so its design principles and assumptions can be compared with human processing data in simulation studies – which is an important step forward in model development and refinement. But Multilink also leaves behind an important theoretical advancement that was touched upon in extending BIA to BIA+ (Dijkstra & Van Heuven, 2002): how linguistic context influences word processing. In their presentation of BIA+, Dijkstra and Van Heuven (2002) hypothesized that syntactic and semantic aspects of sentence context may affect the word identification system. Theoretically, this was an important step forward, as none of the bilingual word processing models (and few monolingual word processing models, for that matter) had incorporated linguistic context, and at that time only a handful of empirical studies had examined how linguistic context affects bilingual word processing. However, in the past 15 years a significant body of empirical work has been published that examines how semantic and syntactic information in sentences impacts word processing in bilinguals. These important insights are not incorporated in the Multilink model.
... In another classic study, Ianco-Worrall (1972) found that bilingual children, defined as those who were exposed to two languages regularly and who demonstrated competence in those languages, realize the arbitrary nature of the mapping from a word's sound to its meaning earlier than monolinguals, suggesting bilinguals have advanced semantic knowledge. The comparison of bilinguals and monolinguals has also been used in more contemporary research, and a large number of studies have found differences in group comparisons of monolinguals and bilinguals, across cognitive (Bialystok, 2004;Costa et al., 2009;Prior & Macwhinney, 2010;Zirnstein et al., 2018), neuroscientific (see Del Maschio & Abutalebi, 2019; Pliatsikas & Schweiter, 2019 for reviews), and linguistic domains (e.g., Byers-Heinlein et al., 2010;Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2009;Sebastián-Gallés et al., 2012), among many other subfields of study. ...
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Aims and Objectives: Bilingualism is a complex construct, and it can be difficult to define and model. This paper proposes that the field of bilingualism can draw from other fields of psychology, by integrating advanced psychometric models that incorporate both categorical and continuous properties. These models can unify the widespread use of bilingual and monolingual groups that exist in the literature with recent proposals that bilingualism should be viewed as a continuous variable. Approach: In the paper, we highlight two models of potential interest: the factor mixture model and the grade-of-membership model. These models simultaneously allow for the formation of different categories of speakers and for continuous variation to exist within these categories. We discuss how these models could be implemented in bilingualism research, including how to develop these models. When using either of the two models, researchers can conduct their analyses on either the categorical or continuous information, or a combination of the two, depending on which is most appropriate to address their research question. Conclusions: The field of bilingualism research could benefit from incorporating more complex models into definitions of bilingualism. To help various subfields of bilingualism research converge on appropriate models, we encourage researchers to pre-register their model selection and planned analyses, as well as to share their data and analysis scripts. Originality: The paper uniquely proposes the incorporation of advanced statistical psychometric methods for defining and modeling bilingualism. Significance: Conceptualizing bilingualism within the context of these more flexible models will allow a wide variety of research questions to be addressed. Ultimately, this will help to advance theory and lead to a fuller and deeper understanding of bilingualism.
... Several studies used letter and semantic verbal fluency tasks to measure proficiency (Miranda et al., 2016;Rosselli et al., 2000;Zirnstein et al., 2018), and some have suggested that semantic fluency is especially "culturally fair" (Ardila & Moreno, 2001;Pekkala et al., 2009), while letter fluency is not (Artiola i Fortuny et al., 1998;Eng et al., 2019). However, fluency performance varies with specific categories (e.g., animals might be culture fair while clothing is not), and the fluency task does not measure proficiency alone, but also processing speed and executive control ability (e.g., application of strategies, switching, etc.). ...
Article
Objectives The present study examined if time-pressured administration of an expanded Multilingual Naming Test (MINT) would improve or compromise assessment of bilingual language proficiency and language dominance. Methods Eighty Spanish–English bilinguals viewed a grid with 80 MINT-Sprint pictures and were asked to name as many pictures as possible in 3 min in each language in counterbalanced order. An Oral Proficiency Interview rated by four native Spanish–English bilinguals provided independent assessment of proficiency level. Bilinguals also self-rated their proficiency, completed two subtests of the Woodcock-Muñoz, and a speeded translation recognition test. We compared scores after 2 min, a first-pass through all the pictures, and a second-pass in which bilinguals were prompted to try to name skipped items. Results The MINT Sprint and a subset score including original MINT items were highly correlated with Oral Proficiency Interview scores for predicting the degree of language dominance – matching or outperforming all other measures. Self-ratings provided weaker measures (especially of degree of balance – i.e., bilingual index scores) and did not explain any unique variance in measuring the degree of language dominance when considered together with second-pass naming scores. The 2-min scoring procedure did not improve and appeared not to hamper assessment of absolute proficiency level but prompting to try to name skipped items improved assessment of language dominance and naming scores, especially in the nondominant language. Conclusions Time-pressured rapid naming saves time without significantly compromising assessment of proficiency level. However, breadth of vocabulary knowledge may be as important as retrieval speed for maximizing the accuracy in proficiency assessment.
... There is also evidence that bilingual regulation ability supports proficient language processing by mediating cognitive control recruitment strategies in real time. For example, Zirnstein et al. (2018) examined a group of L2-immersed Mandarin-English bilinguals and found that the bilinguals' ability to recover from prediction errors during L2 reading was jointly influenced by their L1 regulatory ability and their cognitive control skills. Specifically, increased cognitive control ability related to reduced prediction error costs but only for bilinguals with better L1 regulation. ...
Article
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Increasing evidence suggests that bilingualism does not, in itself, result in a particular pattern of response, revealing instead a complex and multidimensional construct that is shaped by evolutionary and ecological sources of variability. Despite growing recognition of the need for a richer characterization of bilingual speakers and of the different contexts of language use, we understand relatively little about the boundary conditions of putative "bilingualism" effects. Here, we review recent findings that demonstrate how variability in the language experiences of bilingual speakers, and also in the ability of bilingual speakers to adapt to the distinct demands of different interactional contexts, impact interactions between language use, language processing, and cognitive control processes generally. Given these findings, our position is that systematic variation in bilingual language experience gives rise to a variety of phenotypes that have different patterns of associations across language processing and cognitive outcomes. The goal of this paper is thus to illustrate how focusing on systematic variation through the identification of bilingual phenotypes can provide crucial insights into a variety of performance patterns, in a manner that has implications for previous and future research.
... As a compulsory course from basic education to higher education in our country, English plays an important role in people's study, work, and life. With the popularization of mobile devices and the improvement of their functions, various mobile learning platforms are gradually being promoted, and more and more people use mobile devices for mobile learning [6]. Mobile technology provides good support for text, pictures, audio, video, animation, files, and other elements. ...
Article
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This paper proposes a segmented combined English text measurement method based on two sets of orthogonal linear image sensors and one area image sensor. This method fully combines the advantages of the linear image sensor and the area image sensor in long-distance and short-distance English text measurement and can continuously perform high-precision English text tracking within a large range of viewing distance. Based on this method, a set of segmented English text measurement system is designed and constructed. This paper presents a method for extracting English word boundaries based on semantic segmentation to solve the problem of global positioning and horizontal initialization of English reading text. The semantic segmentation method based on fully convolutional networks (FCN) is analyzed, and the target classification is defined. We used the classic FCN framework and model, fine-tuned with manually annotated data, and achieved good segmentation results. For the definition and extraction of English word boundaries in English text, a piecewise linear model is used to measure the projection confidence of each English word boundary point, and the overall observation of the English word boundary is measured. When the observation confidence is high enough, combined with the English word boundaries marked in the high-precision image, the horizontal positioning is obtained by matching the weights. This paper concludes that English reading software can help learners in English learning to a certain extent, which proves that the English reading software is an effective supplement based on blended learning classrooms. Through the analysis of learners and teaching content, an English teaching model based on English reading software blended learning is designed. Experimental studies have proved that English reading software can help learners learn English, which not only expands their vocabulary but also broadens their horizons.
... Differences between the groups could be attributed to a variety of changeable factors, such as the frequency information stored, accuracy and consistency of lexical representations, and interlingual competition; those who are more exposed to the target language and have greater proficiency in that language are likely to have more firmly anchored target language information in memory, more easily lexical access, and more enhanced ability in monitoring different languages at the same time. Indeed, some very current ERP studies have shown that predictive abilities in bilingual speakers are not unchanged, but increase with increasing language experience and language use, especially, when the control ability of bilinguals is strong (Zirnstein et al., 2018), or when a bilingual's languages are typologically similar (Foucart et al., 2014). ...
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The aim of the present study was to investigate how Chinese-Malay bilingual speakers with Chinese as heritage language process semantic congruency effects in Chinese and how their brain activities compare to those of monolingual Chinese speakers using electroencephalography (EEG) recordings. To this end, semantic congruencies were manipulated in Chinese classifier-noun phrases, resulting in four conditions: (i) a strongly constraining/high-cloze, plausible (SP) condition, (ii) a weakly constraining/low-cloze, plausible (WP) condition, (iii) a strongly constraining/implausible (SI) condition, and (iv) a weakly constraining/implausible (WI) condition. The analysis of EEG data focused on two event-related potential components, i.e., the N400, which is known for its sensitivity to semantic fit of a target word to its context, and a post-N400 late positive complex (LPC), which is linked to semantic integration after prediction violations and retrospective, evaluative processes. We found similar N400/LPC effects in response to the manipulations of semantic congruency in the mono- and bilingual groups, with a gradient N400 pattern (WI/SI > WP > SP), a larger frontal LPC in response to WP compared to SP, SI, and WI, as well as larger centro-parietal LPCs in response to WP compared to SI and WI, and a larger centro-parietal LPC for SP compared to SI. These results suggest that, in terms of event-related potential (ERP) data, Chinese-Malay early bilingual speakers predict and integrate upcoming semantic information in Chinese classifier-noun phrase to the same extent as monolingual Chinese speakers. However, the global field power (GFP) data showed significant differences between SP and WP in the N400 and LPC time windows in bilinguals, whereas no such effects were observed in monolinguals. This finding was interpreted as showing that bilinguals differ from their monolingual peers in terms of global field power intensity of the brain by processing plausible classifier-noun pairs with different congruency effects.
... Accordingly, while the sociolinguistic forces leading to multilingualism in Canada (officially English-French) may bear some similarity to those operative in another officially English-French nation (e.g., Cameroon), there also exist crucial differences that can predict how people produce and comprehend multiple languages in these regions (see Grosjean & Li, 2013;Grosjean, 1982 for prescient attention to such details). This may include how motivated people are to activate or suppress one or another language within different social settings, particularly with respect to regulating the L1 (Bjork & Kroll, 2015;Bogulski, Bice & Kroll, 2019;Kroll, Dussias, Bice & Perrotti, 2015;Pulido, 2021;Zirnstein, van Hell & Kroll, 2018;Zirnstein, Bice & Kroll, 2019) alongside a host of additional sociopolitical factors. ...
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In “The Devil's Dictionary”, Bierce (1911) defined language as “The music with which we charm the serpents guarding another's treasure.” This satirical definition reflects a core truth – humans communicate using language to accomplish social goals. In this Keynote, we urge cognitive scientists and neuroscientists to more fully embrace sociolinguistic and sociocultural experiences as part of their theoretical and empirical purview. To this end, we review theoretical antecedents of such approaches, and offer a new framework – the Systems Framework of Bilingualism – that we hope will be useful in this regard. We conclude with new questions to nudge our discipline towards a more nuanced, inclusive, and socially-informed scientific understanding of multilingual experience. We hope to engage a wide array of researchers united under the broad umbrella of multilingualism (e.g., researchers in neurocognition, sociolinguistics, and applied scientists).
... Future studies of cross-language activation are needed to evaluate whether effects of inhibitory conflict between ASL phonological similarity and English semantic differences can be reliably detected. Further, future studies may need to employ different tasks to investigate the relative contributions of inhibition and facilitation as these effects may reflect different cognitive mechanisms related to cognitive control and language regulation (Fricke, Zirnstein, Navarro-Torres, & Kroll, 2019;Zirnstein, Van Hell, & Kroll, 2018). ...
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When deaf bilinguals are asked to make semantic similarity judgments of two written words, their responses are influenced by the sublexical relationship of the signed language translations of the target words. This study investigated whether the observed effects of American Sign Language (ASL) activation on English print depend on (a) an overlap in syllabic structure of the signed translations or (b) on initialization, an effect of contact between ASL and English that has resulted in a direct representation of English orthographic features in ASL sublexical form. Results demonstrate that neither of these conditions is required or enhances effects of cross-language activation. The experimental outcomes indicate that deaf bilinguals discover the optimal mapping between their two languages in a manner that is not constrained by privileged sublexical associations.
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Although variation in the ways individuals process language has long been a topic of interest and discussion in the psycholinguistic literature, only recently have studies of bilingualism and its cognitive consequences begun to reveal the fundamental dynamics between language and cognition. We argue that the active use of two languages provides a lens through which the interactions between language use, language processing, and the contexts in which these take place can be fully understood. Far from bilingualism being considered a special case, it may provide the common basis upon which the principles of language learning and use can be modeled.
Article
We used insights from machine learning to address an important but contentious question: Is bilingual language experience associated with executive control abilities? Specifically, we assess proactive executive control for over 400 young adult bilinguals via reaction time (RT) on an AX continuous performance task (AX-CPT). We measured bilingual experience as a continuous, multidimensional spectrum (i.e., age of acquisition, language entropy, and sheer second language exposure). Linear mixed effects regression analyses indicated significant associations between bilingual language experience and proactive control, consistent with previous work. Information criteria (e.g., AIC) and cross-validation further suggested that these models are robust in predicting data from novel, unmodeled participants. These results were bolstered by cross-validated LASSO regression, a form of penalized regression. However, the results of both cross-validation procedures also indicated that similar predictive performance could be achieved through simpler models that only included information about the AX-CPT (i.e., trial type). Collectively, these results suggest that the effects of bilingual experience on proactive control, to the extent that they exist in younger adults, are likely small. Thus, future studies will require even larger or qualitatively different samples (e.g., older adults or children) in combination with valid, granular quantifications of language experience to reveal predictive effects on novel participants. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
Proficient bilinguals use two languages actively, but the contexts in which they do so may differ dramatically. The present study asked what consequences the contexts of language use hold for the way in which cognitive resources modulate language abilities. Three groups of speakers were compared, all of whom were highly proficient Spanish-English bilinguals who differed with respect to the contexts in which they used the two languages in their everyday lives. They performed two lexical production tasks and the "AX" variant of the Continuous Performance Task (AX-CPT), a nonlinguistic measure of cognitive control. Results showed that lexical access in each language, and how it related to cognitive control ability, depended on whether bilinguals used their languages separately or interchangeably or whether they were immersed in their second language. These findings suggest that even highly proficient bilinguals who speak the same languages are not necessarily alike in the way in which they engage cognitive resources. Findings support recent proposals that being bilingual does not, in itself, identify a unique pattern of cognitive control. An important implication is that much of the controversy that currently surrounds the consequences of bilingualism may be understood, in part, as a failure to characterize the complexity associated with the context of language use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
During language comprehension, online neural processing is strongly influenced by the constraints of the prior context. While the N400 ERP response (300-500ms) is known to be sensitive to a word’s semantic predictability, less is known about a set of late positive-going ERP responses (600-1000ms) that can be elicited when an incoming word violates strong predictions about upcoming content (late frontal positivity) or about what is possible given the prior context ( late posterior positivity/P600). Across three experiments, we systematically manipulated the length of the prior context and the source of lexical constraint to determine their influence on comprehenders’ online neural responses to these two types of prediction violations. In Experiment 1, within minimal contexts, both lexical prediction violations and semantically anomalous words produced a larger N400 than expected continuations ( James unlocked the door/laptop/gardener), but no late positive effects were observed. Critically, the late posterior positivity/P600 to semantic anomalies appeared when these same sentences were embedded within longer discourse contexts (Experiment 2a), and the late frontal positivity appeared to lexical prediction violations when the preceding context was rich and globally constraining (Experiment 2b). We interpret these findings within a hierarchical generative framework of language comprehension. This framework highlights the role of comprehension goals and broader linguistic context, and how these factors influence both top-down prediction and the decision to update or reanalyze the prior context when these predictions are violated.
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It is well-attested that native speakers tend to give low acceptability ratings to sentences that involve movement from within islands, yet the source of island effects remains an active debate. The grammatical account posits that island effects result from syntactic constraints on wh-movement, whereas the resource-limitation view posits that low ratings emerge due to processing-related constraints on the parser, such that islands themselves present processing bottlenecks. The current study addresses this debate by investigating the relationship between island sensitivity and individual differences in cognitive abilities, as it has been argued that the two views make distinct predictions regarding whether a relationship should hold. Building directly on Sprouse et al. (2012a), we tested 102 native English speakers on 4 island types (whether, complex NP, subject, and adjunct islands) using an acceptability judgment task with wh-questions presented in context to quantify island sensitivity and three cognitive tasks to capture individual differences in working memory (via reading span and counting span task) and attentional control (via a number Stroop task). Our methodological approach takes into account several criticisms that have been made of Sprouse et al.’s (2012a; b) work, particularly the criticisms outlined in Hofmeister et al. (2012a; b). Our results reveal strong island sensitivity effects across all island types. However, individual differences in cognitive abilities do not strongly modulate island sensitivity. These results suggest that island effects emerge due to the existence of syntactic constraints and not because of processing difficulties, in line with the grammatical account.
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Listeners readily anticipate upcoming sentence constituents, however little is known about prediction when the input is suboptimal, such as for children with hearing loss (HL). Here we examined whether children with hearing aids and/or cochlear implants use semantic context to predict upcoming spoken sentence completions. We expected reduced prediction among children with HL, but found they were able to predict similarly to children with normal hearing. This suggests prediction is robust even when input quality is chronically suboptimal, and is compatible with the idea that recent advances in the management of pre-lingual HL may have minimised some of the language processing differences between children with and without HL.
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We investigated the independent contributions of second language (L2) age of acquisition (AoA) and social diversity of language use on intrinsic brain organization using seed-based resting-state functional connectivity among highly proficient French-English bilinguals. There were two key findings. First, earlier L2 AoA related to greater interhemispheric functional connectivity between homologous frontal brain regions, and to decreased reliance on proactive executive control in an AX-Continuous Performance Task completed outside the scanner. Second, greater diversity in social language use in daily life related to greater connectivity between the anterior cingulate cortex and the putamen bilaterally, and to increased reliance on proactive control in the same task. These findings suggest that early vs. late L2 AoA links to a specialized neural framework for processing two languages that may engage a specific type of executive control (e.g., reactive control). In contrast, higher vs. lower degrees of diversity in social language use link to a broadly distributed set of brain networks implicated in proactive control and context monitoring.
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The ability to overcome interference from the first-language (L1) is a source of variability in second language (L2) achievement, which has to date been explored mainly in same-script bilinguals. Such interference management, and bilingual language control more generally, have recently been linked to domain general executive functions (EF). In the current study, we examined L2 proficiency and executive functions as possible predictors of susceptibility to L1 interference during L2 processing, in bilinguals whose languages do not share an orthographic system. Seventy Arabic-Hebrew bilingual university students performed two tasks indexing cross-language interference (from L1 to L2). Lexical interference was assessed using a cross-modal semantic similarity judgment task in Hebrew, with false-cognates as critical items. Syntactic interference was assessed using a self-paced reading paradigm and grammaticality judgments on Hebrew sentences whose syntactic structures differed from those of Arabic. EFs were examined using spatial and numerical Stroop tasks, to index inhibitory control, and a task switching paradigm, to index shifting abilities. We found significant L1 interference across the lexical and syntactic domains, even in proficient different-script bilinguals. However, these interference effects were not correlated, and neither type of interference was related to domain general EF abilities. Finally, offline susceptibility to syntactic interference, but not lexical interference, was reduced with greater L2 proficiency. These results suggest at least partially independent mechanisms for managing interference in the two language domains, and raise questions regarding the degree to which domain general control abilities are recruited for managing L1 interference.
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According to recent views of L2-sentence processing, L2-speakers do not predict upcoming information to the same extent as do native speakers. To investigate L2-speakers’ predictive use and integration of syntactic information across clauses, we recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) from advanced L2-learners and native speakers while they read sentences in which the syntactic context did or did not allow noun-ellipsis (Lau, E., Stroud, C., Plesch, S., & Phillips, C. (2006). The role of structural prediction in rapid syntactic analysis. Brain and Language, 98, 74–88.) Both native and L2-speakers were sensitive to the context when integrating words after the potential ellipsis-site. However, native, but not L2-speakers, anticipated the ellipsis, as suggested by an ERP difference between elliptical and non-elliptical contexts preceding the potential ellipsis-site. In addition, L2-learners displayed a late frontal negativity for ungrammaticalities, suggesting differences in repair strategies or resources compared with native speakers.
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Understanding the processes that permit us to extract meaning from spoken or written linguistic input requires elucidating how, when, and where in the brain sentences and stories, syllables and words are analyzed. Because human language is a cognitive function that is not readily investigated using neuroscience approaches in animal models, this task presents special challenges. In this chapter, we describe how event-related potentials (ERPs) have contributed to the understanding of language processes as they unfold in real-time. We will provide an overview of the many ERPs that have been used in language research, and will discuss the main models of what these ERPs reflect in terms of linguistic and neural processes. In addition, using examples from the literature, we will illustrate how ERPs can be used to study language comprehension, and will also outline methodological issues that are specific to using ERPs in language research.
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I have proposed previously that language comprehension can be described as structure building, and I have sketched a simple framework to use as a guide. I call this framework the Structure Building Framework. According to the Structure Building Framework, the goal of comprehension is to build cohesive mental representations, or structures. The first process involved in building a structure is laying a foundation. The next process involves developing the structure by mapping on incoming information when that information is less coherent, comprehenders employ a different process: They shift to initiate a new substructure. Thus, most representations comprise several branching substructure. The building blocks of mental structures are memory nodes. Memory nodes are activated by incoming stimuli. Their initial activation forms the foundation of mental structures. Incoming information often is mapped onto a developing structure because the more coherent the incoming information is with the previous information, the more likely it is to activate similar memory nodes. However, the less coherent the incoming information, the less likely it is to activate similar memory nodes. If the incoming information is less coherent, it activates different nodes, and the activation of these different nodes forms the foundation for a new substructure.
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Normal aging is an inevitable race between increasing knowledge and decreasing cognitive capacity. Crucial to understanding and promoting successful aging is determining which of these factors dominates for particular neurocognitive functions. Here, we focus on the human capacity for language, for which healthy older adults are simultaneously advantaged and disadvantaged. In recent years, a more hopeful view of cognitive aging has emerged from work suggesting that age-related declines in executive control functions are buffered by life-long bilingualism. In this paper, we selectively review what is currently known and unknown about bilingualism, executive control, and aging. Our ultimate goal is to advance the views that these issues should be reframed as a specific instance of neuroplasticity more generally and, in particular, that researchers should embrace the individual variability among bilinguals by adopting experimental and statistical approaches that respect the complexity of the questions addressed. In what follows, we set out the theoretical assumptions and empirical support of the bilingual advantages perspective, review what we know about language, cognitive control, and aging generally, and then highlight several of the relatively few studies that have investigated bilingual language processing in older adults, either on their own or in comparison with monolingual older adults. We conclude with several recommendations for how the field ought to proceed to achieve a more multifactorial view of bilingualism that emphasizes the notion of neuroplasticity over that of simple bilingual versus monolingual group comparisons.
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Recent evidence suggests a positive impact of bilingualism on cognition, including later onset of dementia. However, monolinguals and bilinguals might have different baseline cognitive ability. We present the first study examining the effect of bilingualism on later-life cognition controlling for childhood intelligence. We studied 853 participants, first tested in 1947 (age = 11 years), and retested in 2008–2010. Bilinguals performed significantly better than predicted from their baseline cognitive abilities, with strongest effects on general intelligence and reading. Our results suggest a positive effect of bilingualism on later-life cognition, including in those who acquired their second language in adulthood. Ann Neurol 2014
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Why is it more difficult to comprehend a 2nd (L2) than a 1st language (L1)? In the present article we investigate whether difficulties during L2 sentence comprehension come from differences in the way L1 and L2 speakers anticipate upcoming words. We recorded the brain activity (event-related potentials) of Spanish monolinguals, French-Spanish late bilinguals, and Spanish-Catalan early bilinguals while reading sentences in Spanish. We manipulated the ending of highly constrained sentences so that the critical noun was either expected or not. The expected and unexpected nouns were of different gender so that we could observe potential anticipation effects already on the article. In line with previous studies, a modulation of the N400 effect was observed on the article and the noun, followed by an anterior positivity on the noun. Importantly, this pattern was found in all 3 groups, suggesting that, at least when their 2 languages are closely related, bilinguals are able to anticipate upcoming words in a similar manner as monolinguals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
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Models of bilingual reading such as Bilingual Interactive Activation Plus (Dijkstra & van Heuven, 2002) do not predict a central role for domain-general executive control during bilingual reading, in contrast with bilingual models from other domains, such as production (e.g., the Inhibitory Control Model; Green, 1998). We thus investigated whether individual differences among bilinguals in domain-general executive control modulate cross-language activation during L2 sentence reading, over and above other factors such as L2 proficiency. Fifty French-English bilinguals read L2-English sentences while their eye movements were recorded, and they subsequently completed a battery of executive control and L2 proficiency tasks. High- and low-constraint sentences contained interlingual homographs (chat = "casual conversation" in English, "a cat" in French), cognates (piano in English and French), or L2-specific control words. The results showed that greater executive control among bilinguals but not L2 proficiency reduced cross-language activation in terms of interlingual homograph interference. In contrast, increased L2 proficiency but not executive control reduced cross-language activation in terms of cognate facilitation. These results suggest that models of bilingual reading must incorporate mechanisms by which domain-general executive control can alter the earliest stages of bilingual lexical activation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
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Although research has consistently shown that a bilingual's two languages interact on multiple levels, it is also well-established that bilinguals can vary considerably in their proficiency in the second language (L2). In this paper we review empirical studies that have examined how differences in L2 proficiency modulate cross-language co-activation and interaction during bilingual lexical processing. We review studies investigating cognate and homograph processing in visual word perception and word production, auditory word perception using the visual world paradigm, and cross-language priming, focusing specifically on how differences in proficiency modulate co-activation during lexical access. We further discuss differences in L2 proficiency in relation to immersion and age of L2 acquisition, how differences in L2 proficiency relate to neurocognitive aspects of cognitive control, and how changes in L2 proficiency relative to L1 proficiency may affect lexical processing.
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Using event-related potentials (ERPs), we investigated the impact of a range of individual difference measures related to L2 learning on proficient L1 Spanish -L2 English bilinguals' brain responses during L2 morphosyntactic processing. Although grand mean ERP analyses revealed a biphasic N400-P600 response to English subject-verb agreement violations, subsequent analyses showed that participants' brain responses varied along a continuum between N400- and P600-dominance. To investigate this pattern, we introduce two novel ERP measures that independently quantify relative brain response type and overall magnitude. Multivariate analyses revealed that larger overall brain responses were associated with higher L2 proficiency, while relative brain response type (N400 or P600) was predicted by a coalition of variables, most notably learners' motivation and age of arrival in an L2 environment. Our findings show that aspects of a learner's background can differentially impact a learner's overall sensitivity to L2 morphosyntax and qualitative use of linguistic cues during processing.
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Bilinguals' reading strategies were examined in their native and second language via the recording of eye movements. Experiment 1 examined the processing of sentences that contained local syntactic ambiguities. Results showed that bilinguals reading in their second language tended to resolve these ambiguities in a different way from native reader. Bilinguals tended to prefer to attach incoming information to the most recently processed constituent. However, this global strategy was influenced by lexical information provided by the verb. Moreover, the combined analysis of both groups of readers revealed an influence of verb subcategorization information on syntactic ambiguity resolution. Experiment 2 also examined syntactic ambiguity resolution in the native and second language, for sentences that were ambiguous in only one of the bilinguals' two languages. Results showed that bilinguals hesitated when reading in their second language at points in the sentence where their native language presented conflicting lexical information. Following this localized effect of "transfer", however, bilinguals performed in a manner similar to native speakers of the language. In combination, these experiments demonstrate that bilinguals perform a complete syntactic parsing of sentences when reading in the second language, and they do so in a manner similar to native speakers. Although lexical information can apparently influence parsing in second language, our results do not provide strong evidence that it acts to override syntactic analysis based on structural principles.
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Event-related brain potentials elicited by lexically associated and unassociated word pairs embedded in normal or semantically anomalous sentences were recorded in order to compare the influences of lexical and sentential context. The design of the experiment was such that second words of associated pairs in anomalous sentences could be subject to lexical context alone, while the second words of unassociated pairs in normal sentences could draw on both types of context, while unassociated words in anomalous sentences were included as a control condition wherein no context effects were expected. N400 amplitude was reduced by both lexical and sentential contexts, and the onset latencies of the two effects were similar. The sentential context effect proved to be longer in duration, and exhibited greater variability across subjects. The amplitude of the purely sentential context effect was predictive of subsequent recognition accuracy for other words occurring in the same sentence. The amplitude of the lexical context effect was unrelated to subsequent recognition performance.
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Speech comprehension and production are governed by control processes. We explore their nature and dynamics in bilingual speakers with a focus on speech production. Prior research indicates that individuals increase cognitive control in order to achieve a desired goal. In the adaptive control hypothesis we propose a stronger hypothesis: Language control processes themselves adapt to the recurrent demands placed on them by the interactional context. Adapting a control process means changing a parameter or parameters about the way it works (its neural capacity or efficiency) or the way it works in concert, or in cascade, with other control processes (e.g., its connectedness). We distinguish eight control processes (goal maintenance, conflict monitoring, interference suppression, salient cue detection, selective response inhibition, task disengagement, task engagement, opportunistic planning). We consider the demands on these processes imposed by three interactional contexts (single language, dual language, and dense code-switching). We predict adaptive changes in the neural regions and circuits associated with specific control processes. A dual-language context, for example, is predicted to lead to the adaptation of a circuit mediating a cascade of control processes that circumvents a control dilemma. Effective test of the adaptive control hypothesis requires behavioural and neuroimaging work that assesses language control in a range of tasks within the same individual.
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The current study investigated the scope of bilingual language control differentiating between whole-language control involving control of an entire lexicon specific to 1 language and lexical-level control involving only a restricted set of recently activated lexical representations. To this end, we tested 60 Dutch-English (Experiment 1) and 64 Chinese-English bilinguals (Experiment 2) on a verbal fluency task in which speakers produced members of letter (or phoneme for Chinese) categories first in 1 language and then members of either (a) the same categories or (b) different categories in their other language. Chinese-English bilinguals also named pictures in both languages. Both bilingual groups showed reduced dominant language fluency after producing exemplars from the same categories in the nondominant language, whereas nondominant language production was not influenced by prior production of words from the same categories in the other language. Chinese-English, but not Dutch-English, bilinguals exhibited similar testing order effects for different letter/phoneme categories. In addition, Chinese-English bilinguals who exhibited significant testing order effects in the repeated categories condition of the fluency task exhibited no such effects when naming repeated pictures after a language switch. These results imply multiple levels of inhibitory control in bilingual language production. Testing order effects in the verbal fluency task pinpoint a lexical locus of bilingual control, and the finding of interference effects for some bilinguals even when different categories are tested across languages further implies a whole-language control process, although the ability to exert such global inhibition may only develop for some types of bilinguals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
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Until now, research on bilingual auditory word recognition has been scarce, and although most studies agree that lexical access is language-nonselective, there is less consensus with respect to the influence of potentially constraining factors. The present study investigated the influence of three possible constraints. We tested whether language nonselectivity is restricted by (a) a sentence context in a second language (L2), (b) the semantic constraint of the sentence, and (c) the native language of the speaker. Dutch–English bilinguals completed an English auditory lexical decision task on the last word of low- and high-constraining sentences. Sentences were pronounced by a native Dutch speaker with English as the L2, or by a native English speaker with Dutch as the L2. Interlingual homophones (e.g., lief “sweet” – leaf /liːf/) were always recognized more slowly than control words. The semantic constraint of the sentence and the native accent of the speaker modulated, but did not eliminate interlingual homophone effects. These results are discussed within language-nonselective models of lexical access in bilingual auditory word recognition.
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The goal of this study was to determine whether variability in working memory (WM) capacity and cognitive control affects the processing of global discourse congruence and local associations among words when participants listened to short discourse passages. The final, critical word of each passage was either associated or unassociated with a preceding prime word (e.g., "He was not prepared for the fame and fortune/praise"). These critical words were also either congruent or incongruent with respect to the preceding discourse context [e.g., a context in which a prestigious prize was won (congruent) or in which the protagonist had been arrested (incongruent)]. We used multiple regression to assess the unique contribution of suppression ability (our measure of cognitive control) and WM capacity on the amplitude of individual N400 effects of congruence and association. Our measure of suppression ability did not predict the size of the N400 effects of association or congruence. However, as expected, the results showed that high WM capacity individuals were less sensitive to the presence of lexical associations (showed smaller N400 association effects). Furthermore, differences in WM capacity were related to differences in the topographic distribution of the N400 effects of discourse congruence. The topographic differences in the global congruence effects indicate differences in the underlying neural generators of the N400 effects, as a function of WM. This suggests additional, or at a minimum, distinct, processing on the part of higher capacity individuals when tasked with integrating incoming words into the developing discourse representation.
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The goal of this study was to examine how lexical association and discourse congruence affect the time course of processing incoming words in spoken discourse. In an event-related potential (ERP) norming study, we presented prime-target pairs in the absence of a sentence context to obtain a baseline measure of lexical priming. We observed a typical N400 effect when participants heard critical associated and unassociated target words in word pairs. In a subsequent experiment, we presented the same word pairs in spoken discourse contexts. Target words were always consistent with the local sentence context, but were congruent or not with the global discourse (e.g., ''Luckily Ben had picked up some salt and pepper/basil,'' preceded by a context in which Ben was preparing marinara sauce (congruent) or dealing with an icy walkway (incongruent). Event-related potential effects of global discourse congruence preceded those of local lexical association, suggesting an early influence of the
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Recent behavioral data have shown that lifelong bilingualism can maintain youthful cognitive control abilities in aging. Here, we provide the first direct evidence of a neural basis for the bilingual cognitive control boost in aging. Two experiments were conducted, using a perceptual task-switching paradigm, including a total of 110 participants. In Experiment 1, older adult bilinguals showed better perceptual switching performance than their monolingual peers. In Experiment 2, younger and older adult monolinguals and bilinguals completed the same perceptual task-switching experiment while functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed. Typical age-related performance reductions and fMRI activation increases were observed. However, like younger adults, bilingual older adults outperformed their monolingual peers while displaying decreased activation in left lateral frontal cortex and cingulate cortex. Critically, this attenuation of age-related over-recruitment associated with bilingualism was directly correlated with better task-switching performance. In addition, the lower blood oxygenation level-dependent response in frontal regions accounted for 82% of the variance in the bilingual task-switching reaction time advantage. These results suggest that lifelong bilingualism offsets age-related declines in the neural efficiency for cognitive control processes.
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Prediction errors (PE) are a central notion in theoretical models of reinforcement learning, perceptual inference, decision-making and cognition, and prediction error signals have been reported across a wide range of brain regions and experimental paradigms. Here, we will make an attempt to see the forest for the trees and consider the commonalities and differences of reported PE signals in light of recent suggestions that the computation of PE forms a fundamental mode of brain function. We discuss where different types of PE are encoded, how they are generated, and the different functional roles they fulfill. We suggest that while encoding of PE is a common computation across brain regions, the content and function of these error signals can be very different and are determined by the afferent and efferent connections within the neural circuitry in which they arise.
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We investigated whether the comprehension of syntactically difficult sentences taxes the executive control component of working memory more than the comprehension of their easier counterparts. To that end, we tested the effect of sharing executive control between sentence comprehension and the maintenance of a digit load in two dual-task experiments with strictly controlled timing (Barrouillet, Bernardin, & Camos, 2004). Recall was worse after participants had processed one (Experiment 2) or two (Experiment 1) difficult sentences than after they had processed one or two easy sentences, respectively. This finding suggests that sentence processing and the maintenance of a digit load share executive control. Processing syntactically difficult sentences seems to occupy executive control for a longer time than processing their easy counterparts, thereby blocking refreshments of the memory traces of the digits so that these traces decay more and recall is worse. There was no effect of the size of the digit load on sentence-processing performance (Experiment 2), suggesting that sentence processing completely occupied executive control until processing was complete.
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We investigated the consequences of bilingualism for verbal fluency by comparing bilinguals to monolinguals, and dominant versus non-dominant-language fluency. In Experiment 1, bilinguals produced fewer correct responses, slower first response times and proportionally delayed retrieval, relative to monolinguals. In Experiment 2, similar results were obtained comparing the dominant to the non-dominant languages within bilinguals. Additionally, bilinguals produced significantly lower-frequency words and a greater proportion of cognate responses than monolinguals, and bilinguals produced more cross-language intrusion errors when speaking the non-dominant language, but almost no such intrusions when speaking the dominant language. These results support an analogy between bilingualism and dual-task effects (Rohrer et al., 1995), implying a role for between-language interference in explaining the bilingual fluency disadvantage, and suggest that bilingual fluency will be maximized under testing conditions that minimize such interference. More generally, the findings suggest a role for selection by competition in language production, and that such competition is more influential in relatively unconstrained production tasks.
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During the past decade I have been developing a very simple framework for describing the cognitive processes and mechanisms involved in discourse comprehension. I call this framework the Structure Building Framework, and it is based on evidence provided during the first decade of discourse processing research. According to the Structure Building Framework, the goal of comprehension is to build coherent mental representations or structures. Comprehenders build each structure by first laying a foundation. Comprehenders develop mental structures by mapping on new information when that information coheres or relates to previous information. However, when the incoming information is less related, comprehenders shift and attach a new substructure. The building blocks of mental structures are memory nodes, which are activated by incoming stimuli and controlled by two cognitive mechanisms: suppression and enhancement In this article, first I review the seminal work on which the Structure Building Framework is based (the first decade of structure building research); then I recount the research I have conducted to test the Structure Building Framework (the second decade of structure building research).
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In this article we review several studies investigating the neural correlates of second-language (L2) grammatical learning in the context of novice adult learners progressing through their first year of L2 classroom instruction. The primary goal of these studies was to determine how and when learners incorporate L2 knowledge into their online language processing system. We show that at least some learners progress through discrete stages of grammatical learning during the first year of instruction. These stages are robust across languages, experimental tasks, and levels of language (lexical vs. sentential) and indicate that there is an intermediate stage of learning between no L2 grammatical knowledge and grammaticalization. We also show that although learners’ brain responses are quite variable, this variability is highly systematic and can be used to identify meaningful subgroups of learners.
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Speech unfolds swiftly, yet listeners keep pace by rapidly assigning meaning to what they hear. Sometimes, though, initial interpretations turn out to be wrong. How do listeners revise misinterpretations of language input moment by moment to avoid comprehension errors? Cognitive control may play a role by detecting when processing has gone awry and then initiating behavioral adjustments accordingly. However, no research to date has investigated a cause-and-effect interplay between cognitive-control engagement and the overriding of erroneous interpretations in real time. Using a novel cross-task paradigm, we showed that Stroop-conflict detection, which mobilizes cognitive-control procedures, subsequently facilitates listeners' incremental processing of temporarily ambiguous spoken instructions that induce brief misinterpretation. When instructions followed incongruent Stroop items, compared with congruent Stroop items, listeners' eye movements to objects in a scene reflected more transient consideration of the false interpretation and earlier recovery of the correct one. Comprehension errors also decreased. Cognitive-control engagement therefore accelerates sentence-reinterpretation processes, even as linguistic input is still unfolding.
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To test the hypothesis that the ability to actively represent and maintain context information is a central function of working memory and that a disturbance in this function contributes to cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, the authors modified 3 tasks-the AX version of the Continuous Performance Test, Stroop, and a lexical disambiguation task-and administered them to patients with schizophrenia as well as to depressed and healthy controls. The results suggest an accentuation of deficits in patients with schizophrenia in context-sensitive conditions and cross-task correlations of performance in these conditions. However, the results do not definitively eliminate the possibility of a generalized deficit. The significance of these findings is discussed with regard to the specificity of deficits in schizophrenia and the hypothesis concerning the neural and cognitive mechanisms that underlie these deficits.
Article
Many studies have shown that a supportive context facilitates language comprehension. A currently influential view is that language production may support prediction in language comprehension. Experimental evidence for this, however, is relatively sparse. Here we explored whether encouraging prediction in a language production task encourages the use of predictive contexts in an interleaved comprehension task. In Experiment 1a, participants listened to the first part of a sentence and provided the final word by naming aloud a picture. The picture name was predictable or not predictable from the sentence context. Pictures were named faster when they could be predicted than when this was not the case. In Experiment 1b the same sentences, augmented by a final spill-over region, were presented in a self-paced reading task. No difference in reading times for predictive vs. non-predictive sentences was found. In Experiment 2, reading and naming trials were intermixed. In the naming task, the advantage for predictable picture names was replicated. More importantly, now reading times for the spill-over region were considerable faster for predictive vs. non-predictive sentences. We conjecture that these findings fit best with the notion that prediction in the service of language production encourages the use of predictive contexts in comprehension. Further research is required to identify the exact mechanisms by which production exerts its influence on comprehension.
Article
Language processing is a complex task that requires both specialized cognitive processes (e.g. speech decoding) and more general cognitive processes (e.g. working memory). Research on how individual differences in these processes influence language processing and comprehension has primarily relied on behavioral methods, such as reaction time measures, self-paced reading, and eye-tracking. However, a growing number of studies have used electrophysiological (EEG) techniques to study individual differences in language processing. EEG and event-related potential (ERP) methods provide a unique link between neural activity and cognitive processing and can be used to draw specific inferences about the neural basis of language processing and its variability. The primary goal of this paper is to showcase EEG/ERP studies that have made significant contributions to the study of individual differences in how the brain processes language, over and above what would be possible using behavioral methods alone. A secondary goal of this paper is to highlight several methodological issues specific to research on individual differences in language processing and identify ways in which EEG/ERP studies can take advantage of what has been learned from previous research to minimize these issues.
Article
Many psycholinguistic experiments suggest that prediction is an important characteristic of language processing. Some recent theoretical accounts in the cognitive sciences (e.g., Clark, 2013; Friston, 2010) and psycholinguistics (e.g., Dell & Chang, 2014) appear to suggest that prediction is even necessary to understand language. In the present opinion paper we evaluate this proposal. We first critically discuss several arguments that may appear to be in line with the notion that prediction is necessary for language processing. These arguments include that prediction provides a unified theoretical principle of the human mind and that it pervades cortical function. We discuss whether evidence of human abilities to detect statistical regularities is necessarily evidence for predictive processing and evaluate suggestions that prediction is necessary for language learning. Five arguments are then presented that question the claim that all language processing is predictive in nature. We point out that not all language users appear to predict language and that suboptimal input makes prediction often very challenging. Prediction, moreover, is strongly context-dependent and impeded by resource limitations. We also argue that it may be problematic that most experimental evidence for predictive language processing comes from 'prediction-encouraging' experimental set-ups. Finally, we discuss possible ways that may lead to a further resolution of this debate. We conclude that languages can be learned and understood in the absence of prediction. Claims that all language processing is predictive in nature are premature.
Article
The present study investigated how pragmatic information is integrated during L2 sentence comprehension. We put forward that the differences often observed between L1 and L2 sentence processing may reflect differences on how various types of information are used to process a sentence, and not necessarily differences between native and non-native linguistic systems. Based on the idea that when a cue is missing or distorted, one relies more on other cues available, we hypothesised that late bilinguals favour the cues that they master during sentence processing. To verify this hypothesis we investigated whether late bilinguals take the speaker's identity (inferred by the voice) into account when incrementally processing speech and whether this affects their online interpretation of the sentence. To do so, we adapted Van Berkum et al.'s (2008) study in which sentences with either semantic violations or pragmatic inconsistencies were presented. While both the native and the non-native groups showed a similar response to semantic violations (N400), their response to speakers' inconsistencies slightly diverged; late bilinguals showed a positivity much earlier than native speakers (LPP). These results suggest that, like native speakers, late bilinguals process semantic and pragmatic information incrementally; however, what seems to differ between L1 and L2 processing is the time-course of the different processes. We propose that this difference may originate from late bilinguals' sensitivity to pragmatic information and/or their ability to efficiently make use of the information provided by the sentence context to generate expectations in relation to pragmatic information during L2 sentence comprehension. In other words, late bilinguals may rely more on speaker identity than native speakers when they face semantic integration difficulties. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Article
There is ample evidence that native speakers anticipate upcoming information at various levels during sentence comprehension. In contrast, some studies on late second-language (L2) learners support the view that L2 learners do not anticipate information during processing, or at least, not to the same extent as native speakers do. In the current paper, I propose that native and L2 speakers are underlyingly the same as far as sentence processing mechanisms are concerned, and that potential differences in anticipatory behavior can be accounted for by the same factors that drive individual differences in native speakers; in particular, differences in frequency biases, competing information, the accuracy and consistency of the lexical representation, and task-induced effects. Suggestions for future research are provided.
Article
Behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures are reported for a study in which relatively proficient Chinese-English bilinguals named identical pictures in each of their two languages. Production occurred only in Chinese (the first language, L1) or only in English (the second language, L2) in a given block with the order counterbalanced across participants. The repetition of pictures across blocks was expected to produce facilitation in the form of faster responses and more positive ERPs. However, we hypothesized that if both languages are activated when naming one language alone, there might be evidence of inhibition of the stronger L1 to enable naming in the weaker L2. Behavioral data revealed the dominance of Chinese relative to English, with overall faster and more accurate naming performance in L1 than L2. However, reaction times for naming in L1 after naming in L2 showed no repetition advantage and the ERP data showed greater negativity when pictures were named in L1 following L2. This greater negativity for repeated items suggests the presence of inhibition rather than facilitation alone. Critically, the asymmetric negativity associated with the L1 when it followed the L2 endured beyond the immediate switch of language, implying long-lasting inhibition of the L1. In contrast, when L2 naming followed L1, both behavioral and ERP evidence produced a facilitatory pattern, consistent with repetition priming. Taken together, the results support a model of bilingual lexical production in which candidates in both languages compete for selection, with inhibition of the more dominant L1 when planning speech in the less dominant L2. We discuss the implications for modeling the scope and time course of inhibitory processes.
Article
The effects of sentential context and semantic memory structure during on-line sentence processing were examined by recording event-related brain potentials as individuals read pairs of sentences for comprehension. The first sentence established an expectation for a particular exemplar of a semantic category, while the second ended with (1) that expected exemplar, (2) an unexpected exemplar from the same (expected) category, or (3) an unexpected item from a different (unexpected) category. Expected endings elicited a positivity between 250 and 550 ms while all unexpected endings elicited an N400, which was significantly smaller to items from the expected category. This N400 reduction varied with the strength of the contextually induced expectation: unexpected, categorically related endings elicited smaller N400s in more constraining contexts, despite their poorer fit to context (lower plausibility). This pattern of effects is best explained as reflecting the impact of context-independent long-term memory structure on sentence processing. The results thus suggest that physical and functional similarities that hold between objects in the world—i.e., category structure—influence neural organization and, in turn, routine language comprehension processes.
Article
Language comprehension looks pretty easy. You pick up a novel and simply enjoy the plot, or ponder the human condition. You strike a conversation and listen to whatever the other person has to say. Although what you're taking in is a bunch of letters and sounds, what you really perceive—if all goes well—is meaning. But how do you get from one to the other so easily? The experiments with brain waves (event-related brain potentials or ERPs) reviewed here show that the linguistic brain rapidly draws upon a wide variety of information sources, including prior text and inferences about the speaker. Furthermore, people anticipate what might be said about whom, they use heuristics to arrive at the earliest possible interpretation, and if it makes sense, they sometimes even ignore the grammar. Language comprehension is opportunistic, proactive, and, above all, immediately context-dependent.
Article
Growing evidence shows that executive functioning benefits from bilingual experience. However, the nature of the mechanisms underlying this advantage remains to be clarified. While some have put forward single process accounts to explain the superior performance of bilinguals relative to monolinguals in executive control tasks, recent findings have been interpreted by considering the dynamic combination of monitoring and inhibitory processes to overcome interference from distracter information. In the present study we explored this idea by comparing monolinguals and highly proficient bilinguals in the AX-CPT. This task requires individuals to adjust proactive (monitoring) and reactive (inhibition) control to achieve efficient performance. We also examined the extent to which a well-known index of inhibitory capacity, the stop-signal reaction time, predicts accuracy in the AX-CPT. Results showed that bilinguals outperformed monolinguals in the experimental condition where higher requirement of proactive-reactive control adjustment was required. Interestingly, the inhibition index predicted errors in this condition only in the sample of bilinguals. These findings suggest that a better understanding of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism may require consideration of how bilinguals adjust different executive control mechanisms to cope with interference.
Article
review, critique, and integrate major attempts to (1) document with objective, laboratory assessments the presence of such deficits in focused, sustained attention in schizophrenia, (2) delineate the nature of this deficit, drawing on distinctions from the experimental psychology of vigilance, (3) establish the role of this dysfunction in vulnerability to schizophrenia and related disorders, and (4) identify brain regions that may be associated with this abnormality (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
In an experimental study of language switching and selection, bilinguals named numerals in either their first or second language unpredictably. Response latencies (RTs) on switch trials (where the response language changed from the previous trial) were slower than on nonswitch trials. As predicted, the language-switching cost was consistently larger when switching to the dominant L₁ from the weaker L₂ than vice versa such that, on switch trials, L₁ responses were slower than in L₂. This "paradoxical" asymmetry in the cost of switching languages is explained in terms of differences in relative strength of the bilingual's two languages and the involuntary persistence of the previous language set across an intended switch of language. Naming in the weaker language, L₂, requires active inhibition or suppression of the stronger competitor language, L₁; the inhibition persists into the following (switch) trial in the form of "negative priming" of the L₁ lexicon as a whole. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The ability to process the linguistic input in real time is crucial for successfully acquiring a language, and yet little is known about how language learners comprehend or produce language in real time. Against this background, we have conducted a detailed study of grammatical processing in language learners using experimental psycholinguistic techniques and comparing different populations (mature native speakers, child first language [L1] and adult second language [L2] learners) as well as different domains of language (morphology and syntax). This article presents an overview of the results from this project and of other previous studies, with the aim of explaining how grammatical processing in language learners differs from that of mature native speakers. For child L1 processing, we will argue for a continuity hypothesis claiming that the child’s parsing mechanism is basically the same as that of mature speakers and does not change over time. Instead, empirical differences between child and mature speaker’s processing can be explained by other factors such as the child’s limited working memory capacity and by less efficient lexical retrieval. In nonnative (adult L2) language processing, some striking differences to native speakers were observed in the domain of sentence processing. Adult learners are guided by lexical–semantic cues during parsing in the same way as native speakers, but less so by syntactic information. We suggest that the observed L1/L2 differences can be explained by assuming that the syntactic representations adult L2 learners compute during comprehension are shallower and less detailed than those of native speakers. Assigning