Relationship between language switching experience and executive functions in bilinguals: an Internet-based study

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Jussi Jylkkä, Anna Soveri, Jenny Wahlström, Minna Lehtonen, Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells, Matti Laine
Publisher: Routledge, Taylor & Francis
Publication year: 2017
Journal: Journal of Cognitive Psychology
Volume number: 29
Issue number: 4
Start page: 404
End page: 419


We examined the relationship between self-reported everyday language switching
experience and the performance of early bilinguals in tasks measuring different
executive functions. Our participants were Finnish–Swedish early bilinguals, aged 16–
41 years (N = 66, Experiment 1) and 18–69 years (N = 111, Experiment 2). An earlier
study using a sample from a similar population discovered a negative relationship
between self-reported language switching and a mixing cost in error rates in a
number–letter task. This finding was not replicated. Instead, we found that a higher
rate of reported contextual language switching predicted larger switching cost reaction
times in the number–letter task, and that a higher rate of reported unintended
language switches predicted larger error rates in a spatial n-back task. We conclude
that these results likely reflect individual differences in executive skills, and do not
provide evidence for the hypothesis that language switching trains executive functions.

Last updated on 2020-28-01 at 08:39