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The bilingual advantage in the Stroop task: simultaneous vs. early bilinguals*



The Stroop task has become a popular paradigm in investigations of bilingual cognitive control. While several studies show a cognitive control advantage for bilinguals, recent studies have countered these findings. The present study investigates two factors that may account for conflicting results: participant grouping and task difficulty. While we find no differences between simultaneous and early bilinguals (age groups traditionally both classified as “early” bilinguals) when the task uses only one language, we find a significant difference between the two when languages are mixed. We suggest treating the two groups as distinct, and note the importance of the bilingual context.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Laura Sabourin, Linguistics Department, University of Ottawa, 70 Laurier Ave. E. Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada


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We would like to thank Sameer Ratti, Yu Ying Li and Natalie Ho for their help with testing participants. We further thank all members of the Brain and Language Lab for discussions during the setting up and implementing of this research. We also thank Greg Poarch and one anonymous reviewer for comments on an earlier version of this paper. This research was supported by a SSHRC grant to the first author.



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