A new publication by Kalinka Timmer, Albert Costa and Zofia Wodniecka is now available: The source of attention modulations in bilingual language contexts Click here for more information!
Abstract:Bilinguals who switch from a monolingual context to a bilingual context enhance their domain-general attentional system. But what drives the adaptation process and translates into the observed increased efficiency of the attentional system? To uncover the origin of the plasticity in a bilingual’s language experience, we investigated whether switching between other types of categories also modulated domain-general attentional processes. We compared performance of Catalan-Spanish bilinguals across three experiments in which participants performed the Attentional Network Test in a mixed context and in two single contexts that were created by interleaving words with flankers. The contexts were related to switching (or not) between languages (Experiment-1) or between low-level perceptual color categories (Experiment-2) or between linguistic categories (Experiment-3). Both switching between languages and linguistic categories revealed increased target-P3 amplitudes in mixed contexts compared to single contexts. These findings can inform the Inhibitory Control model regarding the locus and domain-generality of attentional adaptations.