In highly proficient, early bilinguals, behavioural studies of the cost of switching language or task suggest qualitative differences between language control and domain-general cognitive control. By contrast, several neuroimaging studies have shown an overlap of the brain areas involved in language control and domain-general cognitive control. The current study measured both behavioural responses and event-related potentials (ERPs) from bilinguals who performed picture naming in single- or mixed-language contexts, as well as an alphanumeric categorisation task in single- or mixed-task context. Analysis of switch costs during the mixed-context conditions showed qualitative differences between language control and domain-general cognitive control. A 2. ×. 2 ANOVA of the ERPs, with domain (linguistic, alphanumeric) and context (single, mixed) as within-participant factors, revealed a significant interaction, which also suggests a partly independent language-control mechanism. Source estimations revealed the neural basis of this mechanism to be in bilateral frontal-temporal areas.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a Grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation to JMA (#32-138497, #325100-118362). The Cartool software (sites.google.com/site/fbmlab/Cartool.htm) has been programmed by Denis Brunet, from the Functional Brain Mapping Laboratory, Geneva, Switzerland, and was supported by the Centre for Biomedical Imaging of Geneva and Lausanne. We would like to thank Jean-François Knebel (University of Lausanne) for the software to carry out the ANOVAs.
- Event-related potentials (ERPs)
- First language
- Overt naming
- Second language
- Source localisation
- Task selection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Speech and Hearing