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The effects of language proficiency on the executive functions of older Tamil-English bilinguals

Authors: Chua, Annabelle Kai Lin;

The effects of language proficiency on the executive functions of older Tamil-English bilinguals

Abstract

Evidence of the effects of bilingualism on age-related cognitive decline remains inconclusive as the bilingual experience tends to be vastly different from one individual to another. This could be in part, due to the large variabilities in different dimensions of language (e.g. dominance, proficiency) that might interfere with how bilingualism influences cognitive functions. Language proficiency has been proposed as one source of variability. While there are studies that investigate how young bilinguals of different proficiency levels perform on various cognitive aspects, this same line of research is all but at its infancy concerning older adults and therefore warrants further examination. This study thus examines if higher proficiencies in older bilinguals would manifest in better performance in tasks assessing response inhibition, interference suppression and working memory (WM) performance. 28 older Tamil-English bilinguals whose native language is Tamil and only differed in English proficiency were dichotomized into Low and High proficiency groups based on their PPVT-IV English scores. They were then assessed on a range of tasks tapping upon various cognitive constructs such as response inhibition, interference suppression and WM. Results indicate that better English proficiency might modulate the maintenance and updating of information in WM, while interference suppression, response inhibition and conflict resolution in WM might be less sensitive to proficiency effects. These results suggest that effects of proficiency have a smaller effect on cognitive functions such as executive control or are restricted to only certain aspects of cognitive control than previously hypothesized. Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Multilingual Studies

Country
Singapore
Related Organizations
Keywords

:Humanities::Linguistics::Psycholinguistics [DRNTU]

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    This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
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    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
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    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
0
Average
Average
Average