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Executive Processes Underpin the Bilingual Advantage on Phonemic Fluency: Evidence from Analyses of Switching and Clustering
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom.
Department of Psychology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Department of Psychology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Department of Psychology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; Division of Human Work Science, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 10, article id 1355Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Bilinguals often show a disadvantage in lexical access on verbal fluency tasks wherein the criteria require the production of words from semantic categories. However, the pattern is more heterogeneous for letter (phonemic) fluency wherein the task is to produce words beginning with a given letter. Here, bilinguals often outperform monolinguals. One explanation for this is that phonemic fluency, as compared with semantic fluency, is more greatly underpinned by executive processes and that bilinguals exhibit better performance on phonemic fluency due to better executive functions. In this study, we re-analyzed phonemic fluency data from the Betula study, scoring outputs according to two measures that purportedly reflect executive processes: clustering and switching. Consistent with the notion that bilinguals have superior executive processes and that these can be used to offset a bilingual disadvantage in verbal fluency, bilinguals (35-65 years at baseline) demonstrated greater switching and clustering throughout the 15-year study period.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 10, article id 1355
Keywords [en]
aging; bilingualism; executive function; longitudinal study; phonemic fluency
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-29724DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01355ISI: 000471303800001PubMedID: 31244740Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85068690283OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-29724DiVA, id: diva2:1321586
Part of project
A new perspective on working memory and its relation to attention and learning, Swedish Research Council
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, 1988-0082:17Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, J2001-0682Swedish Research Council, 421-2011-1782Swedish Research Council, 345-2003-3883Swedish Research Council, 315-2004-6977Swedish Research Council, 2015-01116Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2211-0505Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, KAW 2014.0205
Note

Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research (FRN) Grant no:s: D1988-0092, D1989-0115, D1990-0074, D1991-0258, D1992-0143, D1997-0756, D1997-1841, D1999-0739, B1999-474 

Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences Grant no. F377/1988-2000 

Swedish Council for Social Research Grant no. 1988-1990: 88-0082 311/1991-2000 

Available from: 2019-06-09 Created: 2019-06-09 Last updated: 2019-08-23Bibliographically approved

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Marsh, John E.

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