Language control in the bilingual brain
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Language Control in the Bilingual Brain. Crinion et al. (2006) Ema Salja. Background. Bilinguals can voluntarily control which language is used Distinguish language heard/read Which language speech is to be produced in Inhibition of non-selected language

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Language Control in the Bilingual Brain

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Language control in the bilingual brain

Language Control in the Bilingual Brain

Crinion et al. (2006)

EmaSalja


Background

Background

  • Bilinguals can voluntarily control which language is used

    • Distinguish language heard/read

    • Which language speech is to be produced in

    • Inhibition of non-selected language

  • Proficient bilinguals activate same brain regions regardless of which language presented or produced (Abutalebi, & Perani, 2005).

  • Neural circuits for different languages are overlapping/ interconnected but don’t indicate how brain controls language in use


Question hypothesis

Question & Hypothesis

  • What brain areas are responsible for language control?

  • DV: brain activation (fMRI & PET)

  • IV: Language of target

    • Target & prime semantics

    • Target & prime language

  • Hypothesis?

    • They didn’t really have one…


Methods

Methods

  • Subjects (German-English & Japanese-English bilinguals)visuallyshown pairs of words (i.e. trout-SALMON) in sequence

    • Language

    • Pairs semantically similar/different

    • Target and prime were in same/different language

  • Ignore first word (prime) & make decision based on meaning of second word (target)

    • Time between prime & target optimized for priming, but not long enough to predict target (250 ms)

  • Task presented while subjects being scanned (fMRI & PET)


Results

  • No significant effect of target language on accuracy

  • Some variance in visual cortex activation

  • Semantic priming in left ventral anterior temporal lobe is language-independent

  • Language-dependent semantic priming only in left caudate (LC)

    • Reduced activation when semantically similar prime & target in same language

Results


Discussion

Discussion

  • Suggest that LC plays a role in sensing change in language OR word semantics

  • LC seems to function for language control

    • Neuropsychological study on particular trilingual patient with white matter lesions around LC

      • Retained comprehension in all 3

      • Involuntarily switched between languages during production tasks


Limitations next step

Limitations & Next Step

Limitations

Next Step

Determine adjacent & connecting pathways

Test other bilingual groups

Check effect of varying proficiencies (one language more dominant then other)

  • Characters/wordvariedbetween languages

  • Sample size/bilingual group (~ 10-15)

  • Tested only German-English & Japanese-English bilinguals


Final note

Final Note

Strengths

Weaknesses

Difficult to read

No clear question, hypothesis or variables

Not enough information or detail regarding subjects & procedures

  • Interesting Topic

  • Tested bilinguals from completely separate linguistic families

  • Equivalent linguistic proficiencies


References

References

Abutalebi, J., & Perani, D. (2005). the neural basis of first and second language processing. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 15, 202-206.

Aso, T., Crinion, J., Fukuyama, H., Green, D. W., Grogan, A., Hanakawa, T.,…Urayama, S. (2006). Language control in the bilingual brain. Science, 312, 1537-1540. doi: 10.1126/science.1127761.


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