Neuroimaging of language control in bilinguals: Neural adaptation and reserve

Jubin Abutalebi, David W. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Speaking more than one language demands a language control system that allows bilinguals to correctly use the intended language adjusting for possible interference from the non-target language. Understanding how the brain orchestrates the control of language has been a major focus of neuroimaging research on bilingualism and was central to our original neurocognitive language control model (Abutalebi & Green, 2007). We updated the network of language control (Green & Abutalebi, 2013) and here review the many new exciting findings based on functional and structural data that substantiate its core components. We discuss the language control network within the framework of the adaptive control hypothesis (Green & Abutalebi, 2013) that predicts adaptive changes specific to the control demands of the interactional contexts of language use. Adapting to such demands leads, we propose, to a neural reserve in the human brain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689 - 698
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • bilingualism
  • language control
  • neural adaptation
  • neural reserve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics


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