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Early bilingual experience is associated with change detection ability in adults

D’Souza, D., Brady, D., Haensel, J. X. and D’Souza, H. (2021) Early bilingual experience is associated with change detection ability in adults. Scientific Reports, 11. 2068. ISSN 2045-2322

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-81545-5


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.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
ID Code:95669
Uncontrolled Keywords:Article, /631/477, /631/477/2811, article
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group UK


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