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Lecture | LACG Meetings

Switching direction modulates the engagement of cognitive control in bilingual reading comprehension: An ERP study

Thursday 28 January 2021
LACG Meetings


While switching costs in production have been explained in terms of top-down cognitive control, researchers do not agree whether switching costs in comprehension should be interpreted in the same way. Within the BIA + model, it has been claimed that the comprehension of code-switches can be explained sufficiently in terms of bottom-up activation of lexical representations. In the current electrophysiological study, L1 speakers of Dutch with high proficiency in L2 English (n = 63) completed a Flanker task in which they intermittently read sentences with or without an international code-switch. With this ‘conflict-adaptation’ paradigm we examined whether reading a code-switch engages cognitive control that influences performance on a subsequent Flanker trial. The results showed that this was indeed the case: the L1 had to be inhibited when reading a code-switch to the L2, while inhibition had to be released upon encountering a code-switch from the L2 to the L1.

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