Volume 11, Issue 5
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



The study investigated the capacity of language experiences to predict cognitive performance of bilingual adults, with a special focus on participants’ proactive (mixing costs) and reactive (switching costs) control processes. Using a Language and Social Background Questionnaire, demographic and language data were collected from a linguistically diverse group of 60 bilingual adults residing in Australia. The participants were then tested on a non-verbal switching task. The results of multiple regressions revealed that two of the language variables being examined accounted for the variance in the mixing and switching costs. In particular, reduced mixing costs were related to the use of two languages in a dual-language context and earlier onset age of active bilingualism; reduced switching costs were linked to a dual-language context only. These findings reveal that bilingual experiences contribute to shaping proactive and reactive control processes across cognitive domains.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Abutalebi, J., Canini, M., Della Rosa, P. A., Green, D. W., & Weekes, B. S.
    (2015) The neuroprotective effects of bilingualism upon the inferior parietal lobule: a structural neuroimaging study in aging Chinese bilinguals. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 33, 3–13. 10.1016/j.jneuroling.2014.09.008
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneuroling.2014.09.008 [Google Scholar]
  2. Anderson, J. A., Mak, L., Chahi, A. K., & Bialystok, E.
    (2018) The language and social background questionnaire: Assessing degree of bilingualism in a diverse population. Behavior Research Methods, 50, 250–263. 10.3758/s13428‑017‑0867‑9
    https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-017-0867-9 [Google Scholar]
  3. Barac, R., & Bialystok, E.
    (2012) Bilingual effects on cognitive and linguistic development: Role of language, cultural background, and education. Child Development, 83, 413–422. 10.1111/j.1467‑8624.2011.01707.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01707.x [Google Scholar]
  4. Bialystok, E.
    (2009) Bilingualism: The good, the bad, and the indifferent. Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, 12, 3–11. 10.1017/S1366728908003477
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728908003477 [Google Scholar]
  5. Braver, T. S., Reynolds, J. R. & Donaldson, D. I.
    (2003) Neural mechanisms of transient and sustained cognitive control during task-switching. Neuron, 39, 713–726. 10.1016/S0896‑6273(03)00466‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0896-6273(03)00466-5 [Google Scholar]
  6. Green, D. W., & Abutalebi, J.
    (2013) Language control in bilinguals: The adaptive control hypothesis. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 25, 515–530. 10.1080/20445911.2013.796377
    https://doi.org/10.1080/20445911.2013.796377 [Google Scholar]
  7. Gullifer, J. W., Chai, X. J., Whitford, V., Pivneva, I., Baum, S., Klein, D., & Titone, D.
    (2018) Bilingual Experience and Resting-State Brain Connectivity: Impacts of L2 Age of Acquisition and Social Diversity of Language Use on Control Networks. Neuropsychologia, 117, 123–134. 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.04.037
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.04.037 [Google Scholar]
  8. Hartanto, A., & Yang, H.
    (2016) Disparate bilingual experiences modulate task-switching advantages: A diffusion-model analysis of the effects of interactional context on switch costs. Cognition, 150, 10–19. 10.1016/j.cognition.2016.01.016
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2016.01.016 [Google Scholar]
  9. Hernández, M., Martin, C. D., Barceló, F., & Costa, A.
    (2013) Where is the bilingual advantage in task-switching?Journal of Memory & Language, 69(3), 257–276. doi:  10.1016/j.jml.2013.06.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2013.06.004 [Google Scholar]
  10. Iluz-Cohen, P., & Armon-Lotem, S.
    (2013) Language proficiency and executive control in bilingual children. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16(4), 884–899. 10.1017/S1366728912000788
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728912000788 [Google Scholar]
  11. Kapa, L. L., & Colombo, J.
    (2013) Attentional control in early and later bilingual children. Cognitive Development, 28, 233–246. 10.1016/j.cogdev.2013.01.011
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2013.01.011 [Google Scholar]
  12. Kaushanskaya, M., & Prior, A.
    (2015) Variability in the effects of bilingualism on cognition: It is not just about cognition, it is also about bilingualism. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 18, 27–28. 10.1017/S1366728914000510
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728914000510 [Google Scholar]
  13. Luk, G., & Bialystok, E.
    (2013) Bilingualism is not a categorical variable: Interaction between language proficiency and usage. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 25, 605–621. 10.1080/20445911.2013.795574
    https://doi.org/10.1080/20445911.2013.795574 [Google Scholar]
  14. Luk, G., De Sa, E., & Bialystok, E.
    (2011) Is There a Relation between Onset Age of Bilingualism and Enhancement of Cognitive Control?Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14, 588–595. 10.1017/S1366728911000010
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728911000010 [Google Scholar]
  15. Marian, V., & Spivey, M.
    (2003) Competing activation in bilingual language processing: Within- and between-language competition. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 6, 97–115. 10.1017/S1366728903001068
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728903001068 [Google Scholar]
  16. Meiran, N., Chorev, Z., & Sapir, A.
    (2000) Component processes in task switching. Cognitive Psychology, 41, 211–253. 10.1006/cogp.2000.0736
    https://doi.org/10.1006/cogp.2000.0736 [Google Scholar]
  17. Miyake, A., Emerson, M. J., Padilla, F., & Ahn, J. C.
    (2004) Inner speech as a retrieval aid for task goals: the effects of cue type and articulatory suppression in the random task cuing paradigm. Acta Psychologica, 115, 123–142. 10.1016/j.actpsy.2003.12.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2003.12.004 [Google Scholar]
  18. Paap, K. R., & Greenberg, Z. I.
    (2013) There is no coherent evidence for a bilingual advantage in executive processing. Cognitive Psychology, 66, 232–258. 10.1016/j.cogpsych.2012.12.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogpsych.2012.12.002 [Google Scholar]
  19. Paap, K. R., Johnson, H. A., & Sawi, O.
    (2015) Bilingual advantages in executive functioning either do not exist or are restricted to very specific and undetermined circumstances. Cortex; A Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior, 69, 265–278. 10.1016/j.cortex.2015.04.014
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2015.04.014 [Google Scholar]
  20. Poarch, G. J., & Krott, A.
    (2019) A Bilingual Advantage? An Appeal for a Change in Perspective and Recommendations for Future Research. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 9(9), 95.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Poarch, G. J., & van Hell, J. G.
    (2012) Executive functions and inhibitory control in multilingual children: Evidence from second-language learners, bilinguals, and trilinguals. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 113(4), 535–551. 10.1016/j.jecp.2012.06.013
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2012.06.013 [Google Scholar]
  22. Pot, A., Keijzer, M., & de Bot, K.
    (2018) Intensity of Multilingual Language Use Predicts Cognitive Performance in Some Multilingual Older Adults. Brain Sciences, 8(5), 92. 10.3390/brainsci8050092
    https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8050092 [Google Scholar]
  23. Prior, A., & MacWhinney, B.
    (2010) Beyond inhibition: A bilingual advantage in task switching. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 13, 253–262. 10.1017/S1366728909990526
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728909990526 [Google Scholar]
  24. Rosselli, M., Ardila, A., Lalwani, L. N., & Velez-Uribe, I.
    (2016) The effect of language proficiency on executive functions in balanced and unbalanced Spanish-English bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, 19, 489–503. 10.1017/S1366728915000309
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728915000309 [Google Scholar]
  25. Rubin, O., & Meiran, N.
    (2005) On the origins of the task mixing cost in the cuing task switching paradigm. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 31, 1477–1491.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Scaltritti, M., Peressotti, F., & Miozzo, M.
    (2017) Bilingual advantage and language switch: What’s the linkage?Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 20(1), 80–97. 10.1017/S1366728915000565
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728915000565 [Google Scholar]
  27. Seo, R., & Prat, C. S.
    (2019) Proactive and Reactive Language Control in the Bilingual Brain. Brain Sciences, 9(7), 161. 10.3390/brainsci9070161
    https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9070161 [Google Scholar]
  28. Wiseheart, M., Viswanathan, M., & Bialystok, E.
    (2016) Flexibility in task switching by monolinguals and bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, 19, 141–146. 10.1017/S1366728914000273
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728914000273 [Google Scholar]
  29. Zirnstein, M., Bice, B., & Kroll, J.
    (2019) Variation in language experience shapes the consequences of bilingualism. InI. A. Sekerina, L. Spradlin, & V. V. Valian (Eds.), Bilingualism, Executive Function, and Beyond: Questions and Insights [Studies in Bilingualism, 57] (pp.35–47). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/sibil.57.03zir
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sibil.57.03zir [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): bilingualism; language experiences; mixing costs; switching costs
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error