Title of Project

Cognitive Inhibition in Bilinguals vs. Monolinguals

Project Type

Event

Start Date

2011 12:00 AM

End Date

2011 12:00 AM

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Cognitive Inhibition in Bilinguals vs. Monolinguals

Bilingualism has been linked to enhanced cognitive abilities and these enhanced abilities are believed to be mediated by the same frontal lobe system that controls language output in bilinguals. Moreover, recent research suggests that this bilingual advantage may be moderated by degree of balance between the two languages such that those who are equally proficient in their two languages show the best performance on cognitive tasks compared to unbalanced bilinguals and monolinguals. For instance, results from one study revealed that balanced bilinguals showed significantly fewer errors on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) than unbalanced bilinguals. Thus, the purpose of the present study is to compare performance of bilinguals and monolinguals on the Go-NoGo task, a task associated with frontal lobe function, and to assess how degree of balance affects bilinguals’ performance. Bilingual (English-Spanish) with differing degrees of balance between their two languages and monolingual (English) participants will be required to discriminate tone pairs and to only press a button to target pairs while reaction times and errors are measured. We predict that bilinguals will make fewer errors and have faster reaction times compared to monolinguals and that balanced bilinguals will exhibit the best performance.