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  Neural convergence for language comprehension and grammatical class production in highly proficient bilinguals is independent of age of acquisition

Consonni, M., Cafiero, R., Marin, D., Tettamanti, M., Iadanza, A., Fabbro, F., et al. (2013). Neural convergence for language comprehension and grammatical class production in highly proficient bilinguals is independent of age of acquisition. Cortex, 49(5), 1252-1258. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2012.04.009.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-F355-4 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-ACF6-6
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Consonni, Monica1, Author
Cafiero, Riccardo1, Author              
Marin, Dario2, Author
Tettamanti, Marco3, Author
Iadanza, Antonella4, Author
Fabbro, Franco5, Author
Perani, Daniela1, 3, Author
Affiliations:
1Faculty of Psychology, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy, ou_persistent22              
2University of Udine, Italy, ou_persistent22              
3Nuclear Medicine Department, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy, ou_persistent22              
4Neuroradiology Department, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy, ou_persistent22              
5Department of Educational Sciences, University of Udine, Italy, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Bilingualism; Age of acquisition; Proficency; Exposure; fMRI
 Abstract: In bilinguals, native (L1) and second (L2) languages are processed by the same neural resources that can be modulated by age of second language acquisition (AOA), proficiency level, and daily language exposure and usage. AOA seems to particularly affect grammar processing, where a complete neural convergence has been shown only in bilinguals with parallel language acquisition from birth. Despite the fact that proficiency-related neuroanatomical differences have been well documented in language comprehension (LC) and production, few reports have addressed the influence of language exposure. A still unanswered question pertains to the role of AOA, when proficiency is comparably high across languages, with respect to its modulator effects both on LC and production. Here, we evaluated with fMRI during sentence comprehension and verb and noun production tasks, two groups of highly proficient bilinguals only differing in AOA. One group learned Italian and Friulian in parallel from birth, whereas the second group learned Italian between 3 and 6 years. All participants were highly exposed to both languages, but more to Italian than Friulian. The results indicate a complete overlap of neural activations for the comprehension of both languages, not only in bilinguals from birth, but also in late bilinguals. A slightly extra activation in the left thalamus for the less-exposed language confirms that exposure may affect language processing. Noteworthy, we report for the first time that, when proficiency and exposure are kept high, noun and verb production recruit the same neural networks for L1 and L2, independently of AOA. These results support the neural convergence hypothesis.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2012-03-212011-08-012012-04-092012-04-242013-05-01
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2012.04.009
PMID: 22622435
Other: Epub 2012
 Degree: -

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Title: Cortex
  Other : Cortex
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: 6 Volume / Issue: 49 (5) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1252 - 1258 Identifier: ISSN: 0010-9452
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925393344