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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/25436

Title: The Effects of Bilingualism on Attention and Memory: Do Bilingual Advantages in Attention Lead to Disadvantages in Memory?
Authors: Braverman, Anna
Advisor: Ryan, Jennifer D.
Department: Psychology
Keywords: Bilingualism
Bilingual advantage
Attention
Memory
Issue Date: 15-Dec-2010
Abstract: Recent evidence suggests that the task of managing a bilingual individual’s two languages is carried out by general attentional mechanisms. Researchers have found evidence for bilingual advantages in attention, specifically on tasks that involve inhibiting irrelevant information, which are believed to stem from lifelong practice at inhibiting the language system not currently in use. In the present study we hypothesized that, since bilinguals are better at inhibiting irrelevant information, they should show memory disadvantages if previously irrelevant information becomes relevant. 12 bilingual and 12 monolingual participants (age range:19-27) were tested in an eye tracking paradigm where the relational manipulation effect (the tendency to direct more viewing to manipulated regions of previously viewed scenes) was used to access memory for scenes that had been presented as distractors during a study block. No differences in memory were observed. However, we observed a significant difference in general viewing patterns between the two language groups, such that bilinguals made significantly shorter fixations.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/25436
Appears in Collections:Master
Department of Psychology - Master theses

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