Does bilingualism shape inhibitory control in the elderly?
Antón Ustaritz, Eneko
Fernández García, Yuriem
Duñabeitia, Jon Andoni
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Eneko Antón, Yuriem Fernández García, Manuel Carreiras, Jon Andoni Duñabeitia, Does bilingualism shape inhibitory control in the elderly?, Journal of Memory and Language, Volume 90, October 2016, Pages 147-160, ISSN 0749-596X, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2016.04.007.
Bilingualism has been argued to benefit executive functioning. However, recent research suggests that this advantage may stem from uncontrolled factors or incorrectly matched samples. In this study we test the effects of bilingualism on elderly lifelong bilinguals whose cognitive abilities are in decline, thus making any benefits more salient. Firstly we compare 24 bilinguals and 24 carefully matched monolinguals on verbal and the numerical Stroop tasks, obtaining no differences in monitoring or inhibitory measures. Secondly we explore the modulations that the proficiency in the L2 might cause to executive control functions, as measured by the same tasks, by testing 70 elderly bilinguals who vary in their L2 mastery from very low to perfectly fluent. Results show no modulation in any of the indices due to L2 proficiency. These results add to the growing body of evidence showing that the bilingual advantages might indeed be due to other factors rather than bilingualism.