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On invisibility and experimental evidence



At the outset of her article Valian (2014) advocates for the existence of an effect of bilingualism on executive control (EC). She is commended for being very clear about her position. She argues that: “There is a benefit of bilingualism for executive function, but that benefit competes with other benefits that both mono- and bilinguals have to varying degrees. Depending on the composition of each group in any given experiment, the other benefits may be more plentiful in the monolingual than bilingual group (or sufficiently plentiful in both groups), so that the benefits of bilingualism are invisible. This is the possibility that I favor.”



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Diamond, A. (2013). Executive functions. Annual Review of Psychology, 64, 135168.
Shallice, T. (2002). Fractionation of the supervisory system. In Stuss, D. T. & Knight, R. T. (eds.), Principles of frontal lobe function. New York: Oxford University Press.
Stuss, D. T., Alexander, M. P., Shallice, T., Picton, T. W., Binns, M. A., Macdonald, R., Borowiec, A., & Katz, D. I. (2005). Multiple frontal systems controlling response speed. Neuropsychologia, 43 (3), 396417.
Valian, V. (2014). Bilingualism and cognition. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, doi:10.1017/S1366728914000522.


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