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					 Poster presented at the Boston University Conference on Language Development, Nov., 2004, Boston University, MA, USA. (To appear in the BUCLD 29 Proceedings Supplement)



   Effects of Bilingualism on the Attention
  Network Test: Its significance and Implications
                                                                                   Sujin Yang & Barbara Lust
                                                                               Cornell University (email: sy98@cornell.edu)

                                       Introduction                                                                                                                                               Results
   Recent research (Bialystok 1999) has suggested a specific                                                 Bilingual children in our study had significantly lower
advantageous link between executive attention and bilingualism                                            English proficiency than monolinguals according the PPVT
in 4 and 5 year olds in a behavioral Dimension Change Card Sort                                           results, F(1, 33) = 24.033, p = .0000. However, they showed
(DCCS) task (Zelazo & Frye, 1998). However, the results deserve                                           significant cognitive advantages in percentage ANT accuracy
replication to ensure bilingual advancement in executive                                                  data, F(1, 22) = 13.673, p = .001, across all conditions. Overall
attention because the task requires not only conscious control of                                         reaction times for correct responses were faster for bilinguals
behavior but also representation ability of complex rule systems.                                         but did not reach significance. Contrary to the previous results
Accordingly, we use a new cognitive task to test positive cognitive                                       (Bialystok, 1999), the DCCS task failed to predict the ANT
consequences among bilingual children along with the DCCS. We                                             performance, r = .126, p = .541.
hypothesized that if bilingualism was beneficial to the
development of executive attention, bilinguals would outperform                                                                                                                                                               10
                                                                                                                                    120
monolinguals in the ANT. Additionally, if the DCCS and the                                                                                                                                                                                                                    9.97
                                                                                                                                    110                                                                                                                      9.6
                                                                                                                                                             118                *
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         8
ANT’s subcomponent of ‘executive control’ tested the same




                                                                                                                                                                                                        DCCS task score
                                                                                                                                    100




                                                                                                                      PPVT Score
processing variance, we hypothesized that children’s performance                                                                            90                               98
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         6


in the DCCS task and their ANT performance on ‘executive                                                                                    80                                                                                           4
                                                                                                                                            70
control’ would correlate.                                                                                                                                                                                                                2
                                                                                                                                            60


                                                             Method
                                                                                                                                            50                                                                                           0
                                                                                                                                                               PPVT                                                                                              DCCS
                                                                                                                                                  M o n o l in g u a l        Bilingual                                                                   M o no lingu a l          B ilingu a l




   We tested 19 English monolinguals and 18 Korean-English
                                                                                                                                        100
bilingual children, averaged 56 month olds each, on the DCCS                                                                                                                                                                             1200


and the ANT. Before the tasks, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary                                                                            85                    *
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1150




                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Reaction Time (ms)
Test (PPVT) and a parental Multilingualism Questionnaire were                                                                                                                88
                                                                                                                         Accuracy (%)




                                                                                                                                         70
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 1141
administered to all children to measure their English lexical                                                                                                 73                                                                         1100

                                                                                                                                         55
development. ** Randomized (PPVT+DCCS) + ANT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1050
                                                                                                                                         40
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1047

             Attention Network Test (ANT)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1000
                                                                                                                                         25



                                                                                                                                         10                                                                                                  950
                                                                                                                                                             ANT Accuracy                                                                                        R eactio n Time
   The present study took the initiative in testing bilinguals’
                                                                                                                                                 M o no lingual              Bilingual                                                                  M o no lingual            Bilingual
cognitive performance in a computerized attention networks test
(ANT) (Rueda, Fan, McCandliss, Halparin, Gruber, Lercari, &                                                                         50                                                                                       100

Posner, 2004), which has been used in brain imaging studies                                                                                                                                                                   90
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       95
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    98

                                                                                                                                                                                             40
(Posner & Fan, in press). The ANT consists of four cue and three                                                                    40                                                                                        80
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            88
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         85


flanker conditions and is designed to probe developmental
                                                                                                              Error Rates (%)




                                                                                                                                                                                                                              70
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              73


differences in attentional networks of ‘alerting, orienting, and                                                                    30                                                                                        60
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Overall Accuracy (%)




executive control’ in terms of percentage accuracy and reaction                                                                                                                              19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              50

                                                                                                                                                        19               21                                                   40
time.                                                                                                                               20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              30
             Alerting & Orienting                     Conflict Resolution   Presentation Order:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              20
                                                                            Fixation (400~1600ms)-                                  10
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              10
                             *                                              Cue (150)-Fixation(450)-                                                8
                                       Conflict Resolution




                +            +                                                                                                                                           7
                             *                                  Neutral     Target (RT<1700) -                                          0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Mo n o (4.8)                6 y e a rs                10 y e a r s

                                                                            Feedback-Fixation                                                    Neutral           Congruent           Incongruent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Mono(4.8)            Bilingual(4.9)         6 years
     Alert    No Cue     Double Cue                                                                                                                            Monolingual      Bilingual                                                    8 years              10 years
                                                                            Trials: Training Block (24)
                             *                                 Congruent
                *            +
                                                                            + 3 Experimental Blocks

    Orient Central Cue   Spatial Cue
                                                                            (144) (Duration: 25~30)
                                                                                                                                                                                            Discussion
                                                              Incongruent   Variables: Accuracy, RT
                                                                                                              These results support a positive relation between early childhood
    Dimension Change Card Sort (DCCS)                                                                     bilingualism and executive attention despite the difference in English
                                                                                                          proficiency. At the same time, they raise issues about the relation
                                                                                                          between tasks assumed to test executive attention, since these did not
  Pre-Switch                                                                          Post-Switch         correlate. Reasons can be attributed to monolingual children’s high
     SHAPE                                                                               COLOR            linguistic competence, studied age ranges, or age-inappropriate task
                                                                                                          difficulty.
                                                                                                          Reference
                                                                                                          Bialystok, E. (1999). Cognitive complexity and attentional control in the bilingual mind. Child
   Participants are required to sort cards into two groups based on the sorting                             Development, 70, 636-644.
criterion (Color vs. Shape) and Children need to refocus their attention to a new                         Rueda, M.R., Fan, J., McCandliss, B.D., Halparin, J.D., Gruber, D.B., Lercari, L.P., & Posner, M.I.
rule while inhibiting their focus on the previous dimension. Variables:                                     (2004). Development of Attentional Networks in Childhood. Neuropsychologia, 42, 1029-1050.
Inhibitory Control Ability + Representation Ability of Higher-Order Rule                                  Zelazo, P.D., & Frye, D. (1998). Cognitive complexity and control:II. The development of executive
                                                                                                            function in children. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 7, 121-126.

				
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