CANCELLED: The possible relationship between bilingualism, cognitive control, and cognitive decline
Maurits van den Noort is a regular professor at Kyung Hee University (Seoul) in the Research Group of Pain and Neuroscience. Maurits is our guest for our December's clinical forum, where he will present some of his research on bilingualism and cognitve control.
Previous research showed that cognitive control plays a key role during bilingual language management. This hypothesis is further supported by the fact that foreign languages were found to affect not only the expected linguistic domains, but surprisingly, also other non-linguistic domains, such as cognitive control, attention, inhibition, working memory, etc. Somehow learning languages seems to affect executive/brain functioning. In the literature this is referred to as the bilingual advantage, meaning that people who learn two or more languages seem to outperform monolinguals in executive functioning skills. In this lecture, I will present three of our own studies in which we investigated the bilingual advantage; moreover, I will discuss how our results are related to the literature field in general. In the first part of my lecture, I will discuss an original study in which we investigated the interaction between the recognition of language switches and domain general cognitive control abilities in a group of bilinguals with varying levels of second language proficiency and degrees of recent language exposure. In the second part of my lecture, I will discuss a review study that is part of our special issue on the bilingual advantage. In this systematic review study, the bilingual advantage and its modulating factors were investigated. Finally, in the third part of my lecture, I will discuss another review study of our special issue where we were interested in the question whether bilingualism has a protective effect against cognitive decline in aging and whether it can protect against dementia.