Differences in executive function between bilingual and monolingual teenagers and older adults | [Diferencias en tareas de función ejecutiva entre adolescentes y adultos mayores bilingües y monolingües]

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Universidad CES
"Our purpose was to compare performance in executive function tasks between bilingual and monolingual adolescents and older adults. A cross-sectional design was used. We evaluated 48 monolinguals (24 adolescents and 24 older adults) and 56 bilinguals (31 adolescents and 25 older adults) with a wide neuropsychological battery that included tasks of cognitive flexibility (Wisconsin card sorting test), inhibitory control (Stroop test), working memory (direct and inverse digits) and access to long-term memory (semantic and phonological fluency). Our results indicate that monolingual adolescents and older adults perform better in executive control tests than their bilingual counterparts, and these differences are minor in bilingual older adults, these differences do not seem to be associated with age and the frequency of use of L1 (Spanish) and L2 (Quechua). These results seem to show that during adolescence there is a cognitive disadvantage in executive function, which is reduced when people get older. The results are discussed considering sociocultural factors and the possibility of understanding bilingualism as a mechanism linked to cognitive reserve. "