Pliatsikas, C., & Luk, G. (2016): Executive control in bilinguals: A concise review on fMRI studies. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition DOI: 10.1017/S1366728916000249


The investigation of bilingualism and cognition has been enriched by recent developments in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Extending how bilingual experience shapes cognition, this review examines recent fMRI studies adopting executive control tasks with minimal or no linguistic demands. Across a range of studies with divergent ages and language pairs spoken by bilinguals, brain regions supporting executive control significantly overlap with brain regions recruited for language control (Abutalebi & Green, this issue). Furthermore, limited but emerging studies on resting-state networks are addressed, which suggest more coherent spatially distributed functional connectivity in bilinguals. Given the dynamic nature of bilingual experience, it is essential to consider both task-related functional networks (externally-driven engagement), and resting-state networks, such as default mode network (internal control). Both types of networks are important elements of bilingual language control, which relies on domain-general executive control.

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Luk, G.& Pliatsikas, C. (2016): Converging diversity to unity: Commentary on The neuroanatomy of bilingualism. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 31:3, 349-352, DOI: 10.1080/23273798.2015.1119289

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