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A domain-general monitoring account of language switching in recognition tasks: Evidence for adaptive control

  • ESLI STRUYS (a1) (a2) (a3) (a4), EVY WOUMANS (a5), SOUDABEH NOUR (a2) (a3), OLGA KEPINSKA (a4) (a6) and MAURITS VAN DEN NOORT (a2) (a7)...


Language switching experience is assumed to have an effect on domain-general control abilities in bilinguals, but previous studies on the relationship between these two variables have generated mixed results. The present study investigated the effects of bilingual experiences on the interaction between language switching and domain-general control. Thirty-two Dutch–French bilingual young adults executed a bilingual categorisation task to assess their language switching abilities and a Simon task to assess domain-general control. The results show that global response times on the Simon task were correlated to the forward switch cost (from L1 to L2); moreover, interestingly, the forward switch cost was found to be related to recent language exposure but not to the age of second language acquisition. We suggest a monitoring account of language switching to integrate the first finding with previous studies and we interpret the second finding as support for the adaptive control hypothesis.

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Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Esli Struys, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Elsene,


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*We are grateful to the Research Council of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel for their generous support in funding the present research.



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