Bilingualism: Consequences for Mind and Brain


Thursday 7 November, 13.30-14.30, Auditorium 1

A growing body of research using both behavioral and neuroimaging data points to a significant effect of bilingualism on cognitive outcomes across the lifespan. The main finding is evidence for the enhancement of executive control at all stages in the lifespan, with the most dramatic results being maintained cognitive performance in elderly adults, and protection against the onset of dementia. A more complex picture emerges when the cognitive advantages of bilingualism are considered together with the costs to linguistic processing.  In this talk I will describe our work showing behavioral advantages and disadvantages in children, younger and older adults, and also our results showing positive effects of bilingualism on postponing the onset of symptoms of dementia.