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On the consequences of bilingualism: We need language and the brain to understand cognition

  • JUDITH F. KROLL (a1)

Extract

In the last two decades there has been an explosion of research on bilingualism and its consequences for the mind and the brain (e.g., Kroll & Bialystok, 2013). One reason is that the use of two or more languages reveals interactions across cognitive and neural systems that are often obscured in monolingual speakers of a single language (e.g., Kroll, Dussias, Bogulski & Valdes Kroff, 2012). From this perspective, the interest in bilingualism is about developing a platform to ask questions about the ways that cognitive and neural networks are engaged during language use, in different learning environments, and across the lifespan. Another reason is that an emerging body of research on the consequences of bilingualism suggests that language experience changes cognition and the brain (e.g., Abutalebi, Della Rosa, Green, Hernandez, Scifo, Keim, Cappa & Costa, 2012; Bialystok, Craik, Green, & Gollan, 2009). Some of these changes have been claimed to produce cognitive advantages (see Bialystok et al., for a review of bilingual advantages and disadvantages).

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