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  The effect of cognitive flexibility on task switching and language switching

Liu, H., Fan, N., Rossi, S., Yao, P., & Chen, B. (2016). The effect of cognitive flexibility on task switching and language switching. International Journal of Bilingualism, 20(5), 563-579. doi:10.1177/1367006915572400.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-1AC9-4 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-1ACA-2
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Liu, Huanhuan1, Author
Fan, Ning2, Author
Rossi, Sonja3, 4, Author              
Yao, Panpan5, Author
Chen, Baoguo1, Author
Affiliations:
1School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, China, ou_persistent22              
2School of Education, Hebei University, Baoding, China, ou_persistent22              
3Department of Medical Psychology, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria, ou_persistent22              
4Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              
5Department of Linguistics, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Cognitive flexibility; Task switching; Language switching; Inhibition; Bilinguals
 Abstract: Aims: The present study aimed at investigating whether cognitive flexibility plays the same role in language switching as in task switching. Design: Cognitive flexibility (CF) of 52 low proficiency Chinese (L1)–English (L2) bilinguals was assessed by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task. These bilinguals were then subdivided in 26 high- and 26 low-CF participants. Both groups performed a task-switching (Simon switch task) and a language-switching task (picture-naming task). The former task required participants to press a button congruent or incongruent to the pointing direction of an arrow, while in the latter participants had to name pictures in their L1 and L2. Data and analysis: Both response latencies and accuracy scores were obtained. Afterwards switch costs (i.e. longer latencies or reduced accuracy for switch in contrast to repeat trials) were calculated. Findings: Results of the Simon switch task showed that switch costs for congruent and incongruent trials were symmetrical in the high-CF group, whereas the low-CF group showed larger switch costs for congruent than incongruent trials. Similarly, results of the language-switch task showed symmetrical switch costs for naming pictures in their L1 and L2 for the high-CF group, but L1 switch costs were larger than L2 ones in the low-CF group. These findings indicate that cognitive flexibility can modulate switch costs of two different switching tasks. This is in line with the inhibitory control model and the task-set inertia theory which assume that cognitive flexibility might modulate the symmetry of different types of switch costs via inhibition. This study provides first direct evidence that cognitive flexibility plays a comparably important role in language switching as well as in task switching. Thus, cognitive flexibility can be beneficial for low proficiency bilinguals’ inhibitory control during task switching and language switching.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2015-03-172016-10
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1177/1367006915572400
 Degree: -

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Title: International Journal of Bilingualism
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Sage Publ.
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 20 (5) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 563 - 579 Identifier: ISSN: 1367-0069
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925280624