Control mechanisms in bilingual language production: Neural evidence from language switching studies

Jubin Abutalebi, David W. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A key question in bilingual language production research is how bilingual individuals control the use of their two languages. The psycholinguistic literature concerning language control is unresolved. It is a matter of controversy whether (a) issues to do with control are central to understanding bilingual language processing; and (b) if they are, what is the site or sites of control; and (c) whether language control in bilinguals relies upon inhibitory mechanisms. One way to deepen our understanding of language control is to consider the implications from research on functional neuroimaging. In the present paper, we illustrate that neuroimaging research shows that bilinguals engage cognitive control networks for achieving tasks such as language switching. The neural evidence points to multiple neural regions of control that may rely upon an inhibitory mechanism. These 'brain data' may, in turn, stimulate the development of neurocognitive accounts of bilingual language processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-582
Number of pages26
JournalLanguage and Cognitive Processes
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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