Event Abstract

Language control dysfunctions in bilinguals: a neurodegenerative perspective

  • 1 Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Center for Brain and Cognition, Spain

The understanding of the nature of the control abilities in the context of bilingual language production is now a hot research topic. Indeed, the improvement of our knowledge about this issue would offer the possibility to explain the patterns of language impairments in terms of control deficits. One way to look at this is to investigate the interactions between linguistic controls and other domains in bilingual patients following brain damage. Here we offer a new perspective such as the study of bilingual patients with neurodegenerative in different contexts of control: that is, switching between languages, switching within the same language and in semantic interference tasks. The idea is to see whether the language context may differently affect the set of mechanisms recruited and also whether they are specifically affected by the type of brain degeneration. Data collected from bilingual patients with Parkinson’s disease show that the control abilities while speaking one language can be spared in presence of impaired language switching abilities. Moreover, these two sets of abilities are related to the non-linguistic control for some mechanisms (proactive) but not for other ones (reactive). Conversely, data from Semantic Dementia suggest that impaired within language control might not affect the abilities of language switching, despite the presence of deficits of non-linguistic control. Taken together, this may suggest that some of the underlying mechanisms of language control are specific to context and their selective damage depends on the type of brain disease.

Keywords: Bilingualism and Brain, bilingualism, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Parkinson Disease, Semantic Dementia, executive control, language control

Conference: 54th Annual Academy of Aphasia Meeting, Llandudno, United Kingdom, 16 Oct - 18 Oct, 2016.

Presentation Type: Symposium

Topic: Academy of Aphasia

Citation: Calabria M, Cattaneo G and Costa A (2016). Language control dysfunctions in bilinguals: a neurodegenerative perspective. Front. Psychol. Conference Abstract: 54th Annual Academy of Aphasia Meeting. doi: 10.3389/conf.fpsyg.2016.68.00059

Received: 28 Apr 2016; Published Online: 15 Aug 2016.

* Correspondence: Dr. Marco Calabria, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Center for Brain and Cognition, Barcelona, Spain, ES, Spain, calabria.marc@gmail.com

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