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The bilingual and monolingual differences in comprehension processing: An fMRI study


Román,  Patricia
Minerva Research Group Neurocognition of Rhythm in Communication, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Román, P., Rodriguez-Pujadas, A., Ventura-Campos, N., Sanjuan, A., Gonzalez, J., & Avila, C. (2011). The bilingual and monolingual differences in comprehension processing: An fMRI study. Poster presented at 17th Conference of the European Society of Cognitive Psychology (ESCoP), San Sebastian, Spain.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-3E42-1
Kovelman et al., (2008) have addressed the neural signature of bilingualism. They considered the left inferior frontal cortex (LIFC, Broca’s area) to be the best candidate. Wartenburger et al., (2003), in the same direction, found that early bilinguals showed higher activation in similar areas for L2 grammatical judgment rather than in semantic, but not late bilinguals. This can be interpreted in terms of the declarative/procedural model of language (Ullman, 2004) where grammatical rules are dependent on implicit knowledge sub served by Broca’s area and basal ganglia. Late L2 acquisition might not rely on the same structures as it would be acquired explicitly. We explore if grammatical and semantic processing in bilinguals differ in L1 too. An fMRI study was conducted where bilinguals and monolinguals performed a grammatical and semantic judgment task. We observed a more extensive activation of the bilingual brain in both judgments. More interestingly, higher activation of LIFC for L1 grammatical jugdments than semantic was found in bilinguals and specially in less proficient. These results are in agreement with those observed for L2 processing, suggesting that bilinguals recruit a more extensive network than monolinguals in L1 too. However, these results question the interpretation based on the declarative/procedimental model.