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  1. Relating bilingualism and language proficiency in executive attention: Comparison of children and adults Sujin Yang, Soon Park & Barbara Lust Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. USA( Email: sy98@cornell.edu) presented at the Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Conference, May, 2006, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Cues and Flankers Conditions 4 Warning Cue Types 3 Flanker Types Procedure of the ANT * + + * Neutral Fixation T1=400~ 1600 * → Cue 150 ms + + No Cue Double Cue Congruent * * + Fixation 450 ms Target RT < 1700 → + + Central Cue Spatial Cue Incongruent Feedback 2000 ms Fixation 3400 –RT -T1 → + + Background Results • The present study examined whether the relationship of English language proficiency is stronger than that of bilingualism in its effects on executive attention as measured in the Attention Network Test (ANT) (Rueda, Fan, McCandliss, Halparin, Gruber, Lercari, & Posner, 2004; Fan, McCandliss, Sommer, Raz, & Posner, 2002). • Bilingual cognitive advantages would appear in the Attention Networks Test (ANT). • Higher proficiency would be more positively relevant to monolinguals than to bilinguals in terms of beneficial effects of executive attention • The beneficial effects would be persistent till adulthood and children and adults would behave similarly. ** Network Efficiency Scores on the ANT ** Overall English Language Proficiency Hypotheses • Network Efficiency Subtractions: • Alerting Efficiently: Central cue RTs - no cue RTs • Orienting Efficiency: Spatial cue RTs - center cue RTs • Conflict Resolution Efficiency: Incongruent RTs -Congruent RTs • Monolinguals < Bilinguals (in orient & conflict) ps < .000 • High > Low (in conflict resolution)-Monolinguals only p < .008 • Monolinguals > Bilinguals (Children & Adults) ps < .000 • High > Low (Children & Adults) ps < .005 • ** Overall Accuracy on the ANT Accuracy (%) Accuracy (%) Conclusions *P < .02 • Bilingual cognitive advantages in executive attention as measured on the ANT were reconfirmed for both children and adults (Bialystok, 1988) • High English proficiency was beneficial to monolingual children (Accuracy) and monolingual adults only (Conflict Resolution) • Positive effects of bilingualism were persistent from children to adults • Bilingual cognitive advantages in executive attention may be more related to language experience in general than language proficiency. Methods Children Adults Participants: 30 4 years olds (15 Korean-English bilinguals, 15 monolinguals) and 76 college students (38 Korean- or Chinese-English bilinguals & 38 monolinguals) Tasks: PPVT (proficiency) + ANT (child +adult versions) • Monolinguals < Bilinguals (Children only) p < .001 • High > Low (Monolingual children only) p < .02 • ** Overall Reaction Times on the ANT RT (ms) RT (ms) * * References Bialystok, E. (1988). Levels of bilingualism and levels of linguistic awareness. Developmental Psychology, 24, 560-567. Fan, J., McCandliss, B.D., Sommer, T., Raz, A., & Posner, M.I. (2002). Testing the Efficiency and Independence of Attentional Networks, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 14, 340-347. Rueda, M.R., Fan, J., McCandliss, B.D., Halparin, J.D., Gruber, D.B., Lercari, L.P., & Posner, M.I. (2004). Development of Attentional Networks in Childhood. Neuropsychologia, 42, 1029-1050. Adults Children • Monolinguals < Bilinguals (Adults only) p < .007 • High > Low (B-High > M-High & Low) p < .02 • High > Low (B-Low > M-High & Low) p < .07, p < .05 • High ≈ Low (M-High & Low, B-High & Low) ps = n.s.