Executive Function Of Bilingualism

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A bilingual advantage in perform better task of executive function abilities has been reported repeatedly,but recent research shows that this advantage dose not from bilingualism rather from uncontrolled reasons or imperfectly matched samples,in this study we will find out executive function abilities by testing large group of yang aged bilinguals and monolinguals, for executive function the test is aiming at inhibitory control base on theory bilinguals use language words from both of their languages. After the test we found no significant difference between. the results are analyses and interpreted taking into consideration different in the inhibitory controls.

Sample of people per group will be used in this study and test method used here is flank test witch is by using arrows to present congruent and incongruous conditions.


The core assumption of the bilinguals advantage is that they can use both language words from their languages and witch between them automatically and so they have better inhibitory controls witch lead to higher executive function ability then monolinguals.but the test done before have major issue they have imperfectly samples,so i have used lager group of young aged bilingualism and monolinguals for this test.by using Flanker task to find out bilingual advantage. This is a measure of inhibitory control ability on congruent and incongruous conditions and their response time, base on theory the adaptive control hypothesis.the question we going to answer here is can a consideration of the adaptive control hypothesis bring out the bilingual advantage.

This hypothesis will be tested by flank test by providing congruent and incongruous conditions to garter data the participants who have 80% blow accuracy and faster than 200ms or slower than 1000ms will be remove for analyses duo to it’s consider as imperfectly samples.

Materials and Measures

Participants first completed a standard arrow Flanker task adapted from Fan, McCandliss, Sommer, Raz, and Posner (2002). On each trial, a fixation cross appeared for 500 ms, which was then replaced by a line of five arrows. Participants were instructed to make a left or right button press response according to the direction in which the central arrow was pointing, and to ignore the arrows on both sides of the central arrow, which were pointing in either the same or the opposite direction to the target. The arrows remained on-screen until a response was made, and the time from stimulus presentation until response was recorded. In the event of an incorrect response, the word “WRONG” was presented for 800 ms before the next trial began; no feedback was given for correct responses. The intertrial interval was 1000 ms. There were 120 trials in total (60 congruent trials and 60 incongruous trials), divided across four blocks of 30 trials each, with accuracy displayed at the end of each block. The trial order was randomized for each participant.

Participants then completed a questionnaire about their language background and usage. They were asked to list the languages they spoke, and to rate their proficiency in and frequency of use of each language from one to ten. Then, they were given a list of seven common situations and were asked to rate their agreement from one to seven with three items for each situation: “I tend to speak to some people in one language, and other people in a different language”, “I tend to only speak in one language”, and “I tend to use more than one language within one sentence”. These items reflected the dual-language, single-language, and dense-code switching interactional context, respectively. The scores for each situation were weighted according to the percentage of time participants estimated themselves to spend in each situation in a given week, and then scores for each item were summed across all situations to produce a total score for each of the three items.

Data Processing

Participants who achieved below 80% accuracy on the Flanker task were excluded from analyses, resulting in the loss of 1 participants. Of those remaining, RTs faster than 200 ms or slower than 1000 ms were excluded from the analyses, which resulted in0.58% of trials lost. A Flanker Effect (FE) was calculated for each participant by computing the average RT for correct trial responses in each of the congruent and incongruent conditions and then subtracting the average for the congruent condition from the average for the incongruent condition. For the language questionnaire, participants were classified as monolingual if they reported speaking only one language or if they reported speaking more than one language but rated their proficiency or frequency of use in their additional languages as two or less. The remaining participants were classified into the dual-language, single-language, or dense codeswitching context based on the corresponding item on which they scored the highest. Participants who fell into the dense code-switching group were then excluded from the analyses. To ensure a balanced design, 182 participants were then randomly selected from the two largest groups in order to match the size of the smallest group, giving 182 participants in each group.

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This study is aimed at perceptions of the adaptive control hypothesis by using flanker test how ever due to the result data show us their is no significant diffidence between this groups.we need to consider if there is other relevant factors could impact this result such as age IQ education level age start learning new Lagrange even immigrant status.

Any of the factors could change the result in Bilingual minds of Ellen Bialystok[1] indicates that in terms adults and children leaning Lagrange are different,children leaning two Lagrange from birth will same milestones for language acquisition as monolinguals do (first words, first use of grammar),but an adult Adult bilinguals typically take longer to retrieve individual words than monolinguals do[1.1]

Therefore, we wonder whether the use of the flanker test that bilingualism asks for is strong enough to provoke changes at the behaviour level. The argument for a bilingual advantage on executive control tasks rests on the idea that monolinguals do not switch between two languages, since they only have one available. However, all human beings face situations in which they have to inhibit salient responses constantly and monitor the environment, in both general social situations and when performing concrete actions. Such as people do switch between comprehension and production when they talk to other person, they do switch and keep their monitor abilities activated when they have to drive and talk to other person.or responses when they have to speech and manners to different situations witch can be both casual to formal.monolinguals also efficiently also do this efficiently so it’s unclear that Lagrange switching have major effects on this behavior. The cross task correlations between indices assumed to measure the same component of executive functioning are not encouraging. For inhibitory control the only measures that converged were antitheses response time and switching costs. The complete absence of convergence for the flanker and Simon effects in the present data and in several previous studies suggests that researchers should stop using these tasks, or replace them with versions that have demonstrated convergent validity. Likewise there is no convergent validity between difference-score measures assumed to reflect monitoring ability. The significant cross-task correlations in global response time are contaminated by individual variation in basic perceptual and motor processing. Although switching costs in the switching task did not correlate with shifting costs in the flanker task, the present design did not include multiple measures of switching between tasks.[2]

Regardless of what the flanker task is assumed to measure it may not be useful in individual differences comparisons. If the conflict present on the incongruous trials was resolved by employing an inhibitory mechanism not required on the congruent trials, then the subtraction should capture individual differences in that inhibitory mechanism and the cross-task (e.g., letter vs. arrow) measures should correlate. That they do not, is more consistent with a conceptual framework of the flanker task that assumes that the same operations take place in both conditions, but that those operations take longer and are more error prone on incongruous trials.

The results from this set of tasks suggest that bilingualism is not enough to enhance young bilingual adults’ executive function skills relative to the ones of young monolingual adults. Both groups behaved similarly in all the tasks, as measured by the different indices and conditions which, importantly, did not correlate across tasks. Thus, it is argued that executive function are not as domain general as they were believed to be, and therefore the hypothesis of a training transfer produced by bilingualism is not supported. The results of the bootstrapping analysis indicate that when the bilingual advantage in executive function is found, it very often co-occurs with significant differences in factors and memory abilities, suggesting that previous findings might have been a consequence of unmatched factors[3]

All in all, the results obtained from the test conducted in the present study show a very stable pattern. native and balanced bilingualism does not improve bilinguals’ This pattern is interpreted as a consequence of the domain-specificity of the executive function and is thus not susceptible to be indirectly trained. The load-dependence of the maintenance and retrieval of the encoded information .Despite the information provided by the lack of correlation between the executive function task, we did not collect any data testing other aspects of executive function abilities, and therefore this interpretation of the results is rather speculative.[4]

For example, the factors of immigration and late bilingualism should be specially considered for future debates and research. Immigration involves moving to a different language country and it forces people to become bilingual(such like Chinese student move to Australia), so it often co-occurs with late bilingualism and both factors could be confounded when the significant effects of bilingualism are explored[5] among others, for studies reporting bilingual advantages that tested bilingual samples formed by mostly immigrant or oversea student individuals). Immigrants or oversea students, who generally happen to be bilinguals, could show some enhancements maybe wrongly associated to bilingualism when compared to non-immigrants or local students, who happen to be monolinguals. It is still unclear whether those effects could be purely produced by a late bilingualism, by being an immigrant, or a combination of both, and therefore future research addressing those hypotheses is needed, to clarify the scenario regarding the impact of different kinds of bilingualism and demographic factors in executive function.[5]


  1. Bilingual Minds Ellen Bialystok1 , Fergus I.M. Craik2 , David W. Green3 , and Tamar H. Gollan4 1 Department of Psychology, York University, 2 Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Centre, 3 Department of Cognitive, Perceptual, and Brain Sciences, University College London, 4 University of California, San Diego[1]
  2. Bialystok E, Craik FIM, Klein R, Viswanathan M. Bilingualism, Aging, and Cognitive[1.1]
  3. Bialystok E. Reshaping the mind: the benefits of bilingualism. Can J Exp Psychol. NIH[2]
  4. Bialystok E, Martin MM. Attention and inhibition in bilingual children: evidence from the dimensional change card sort task.
  5. Antón E, Duñabeitia JA, Estévez A, Hernández JA, Castillo A, Fuentes LJ, et al. Is there a bilingual advantage in the ANT task? Evidence from children. Front Psychol. 2014;5: 398. pmid:24847298[4]
  6. Bialystok E. Cognitive Complexity and Attentional Control in the Bilingual Mind. Child Dev. Wiley/Blackwell (10.1111); 1999;70: 636–644.[5]
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