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The Effect of Cognates on Cognitive Control in Late Sequential Multilinguals: A Bilingual Advantage?
Open AccessReview

Does the Bilingual Advantage in Cognitive Control Exist and If So, What Are Its Modulating Factors? A Systematic Review

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Research Group of Pain and Neuroscience, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Korea
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Brussels Institute for Applied Linguistics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
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Psychiatric Research Group, LVR-Klinik Bedburg-Hau, 47511 Bedburg-Hau, Germany
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Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, 6525 Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University, 6525 Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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Department of Medicine, Neurology, University of Fribourg, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
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College of Oriental Medicine, Sang Ji University, Wonju 26339, Korea
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Institute of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich Heine University, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
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Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Long Island University (LIU) Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9030027
Received: 2 February 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 10 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
Recently, doubts were raised about the existence of the bilingual advantage in cognitive control. The aim of the present review was to investigate the bilingual advantage and its modulating factors. We searched the Medline, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and ERIC databases for all original data and reviewed studies on bilingualism and cognitive control, with a cut-off date of 31 October 2018, thereby following the guidelines of the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) protocol. The results of the 46 original studies show that indeed, the majority, 54.3%, reported beneficial effects of bilingualism on cognitive control tasks; however, 28.3% found mixed results and 17.4% found evidence against its existence. Methodological differences seem to explain these mixed results: Particularly, the varying selection of the bilingual participants, the use of nonstandardized tests, and the fact that individual differences were often neglected and that longitudinal designs were rare. Therefore, a serious risk for bias exists in both directions (i.e., in favor of and against the bilingual advantage). To conclude, we found some evidence for a bilingual advantage in cognitive control; however, if significant progress is to be made, better study designs, bigger data, and more longitudinal studies are needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: bilingual advantage; bilingualism; cognitive control; individual differences; longitudinal studies; methodology bilingual advantage; bilingualism; cognitive control; individual differences; longitudinal studies; methodology
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van den Noort, M.; Struys, E.; Bosch, P.; Jaswetz, L.; Perriard, B.; Yeo, S.; Barisch, P.; Vermeire, K.; Lee, S.-H.; Lim, S. Does the Bilingual Advantage in Cognitive Control Exist and If So, What Are Its Modulating Factors? A Systematic Review. Behav. Sci. 2019, 9, 27.

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