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Early bilingual experience is associated with change detection ability in adults

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posted on 2023-08-31, 08:21 authored by Dean D'Souza, Daniel Brady, Jennifer X. Haensel, Hana D’Souza
To adapt to their more varied and unpredictable (language) environments, infants from bilingual homes may gather more information (sample more of their environment) by shifting their visual attention more frequently. However, it is not known whether this early adaptation is age-specific or lasts into adulthood. If the latter, we would expect to observe it in adults who acquired their second language early, not late, in life. Here we show that early bilingual adults are faster at disengaging attention to shift attention, and at noticing changes between visual stimuli, than late bilingual adults. In one experiment, participants were presented with the same two visual stimuli; one changed (almost imperceptibly), the other remained the same. Initially, participants looked at both stimuli equally; eventually, they fixated more on the changing stimulus. This shift in looking occurred in the early but not late bilinguals. It suggests that cognitive processes adapt to early bilingual experiences.

History

Refereed

  • Yes

Volume

11

Page range

2068

Publication title

Scientific Reports

ISSN

2045-2322

Publisher

Nature Research

File version

  • Published version

Language

  • eng

Legacy posted date

2021-01-25

Legacy creation date

2021-01-25

Legacy Faculty/School/Department

Faculty of Science & Engineering

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