Chapter 11. Multi-component perspective of cognitive control in bilingualism

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In this chapter, we outline a novel approach to investigating the relation between bilingualism and executive functioning that may circumvent some limitations of previous studies. Whereas previous research has mainly focused on exploring isolated components of executive control (mainly inhibitory control), we argue that such a strategy overlooks the fact that bilingualism might dynamically modify distinct mechanisms of cognitive control and prevent researchers from identifying potential interactions between different control mechanisms. In addition, we highlight that bilingualism is not a categorical variable since bilinguals differ in proficiency, dominance, or the context of language use. Hence, differences in these and other aspects may entail a number of strategies to solve language co-activation, which could impose singular demands on cognitive control. Based on recent theoretical developments and our own findings, we posit that studying the interactions between multiple control processes in different bilingual situations may provide new insights into the relations between language and cognitive control.


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