Published On: 28/01/2019|Categories: 2018–2022, Vol.40 (1), Vol.40 (2019)|


Whether bilingualism has an effect on the executive function of non-verbal representations is probably one of the most controversial issues in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. As bilinguals have to alternate between two languages that compete for selection in their daily lives, they make use of selection, inhibition, and monitoring (i.e., components of executive function) more often than monolinguals. Thus, it would not be surprising that these highly trained abilities at selecting and monitoring the linguistic processes would also help the processing of non-linguistic representations. Although the “bilingual advantage” in executive control (Bialystok, 1999) has been repeatedly demonstrated, a number of recent studies—in particular since the publication of the Paap and Greenberg (2013) study—have questioned this effect. Both positive and null findings are currently being published from each of the two sides, thus making it difficult to reach consensus in the scientific community. Here, we propose a plausible solution to this debate: a group of independent researches should carry out a carefully planned large-scale study.

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