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Bilingualism and aging : electrophysiological and behavioural measures of interlingual priming

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Bilingualism and aging : electrophysiological and behavioural measures of interlingual priming

Kousaie, Shanna (2005) Bilingualism and aging : electrophysiological and behavioural measures of interlingual priming. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The literature regarding the representation of a bilingual's two languages is inconsistent. Some studies suggest selective bilingual language access (i.e., preferential access to one language), while others find non-selective bilingual language access (i.e., both languages are initially accessed simultaneously). In addition, little is known about such representations in the older bilingual speaker. In monolinguals, an age-related slowing in semantic activation may result from an inhibition deficit, which may limit the ability of older adults to ignore irrelevant information. Consequently, they may rely more heavily on compensatory strategies (e.g., context). This implies that bilingual older adults may rely more heavily on language context than young adults. We examined bilingual language selectivity and processing using both event-related brain potentials (the N400) and response time measures in highly proficient bilingual young (18-35 years of age) and older (65-80 years of age) adults. Participants were presented with triplets of words consisting of a language context cue, an interlingual homograph (IH, i.e., a word with identical orthography but different meanings in two languages, e.g., COIN meaning 'corner' in French and 'money' in English), and a target, in a semantic priming paradigm. Language consistency between the cue and target were varied to investigate the effect of language context on the reading of an IH. Results from 10 young and 10 older participants suggest age-related differences in bilingual language processing.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Kousaie, Shanna
Pagination:viii, 111 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Psychology
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):Phillips, Natalie
ID Code:8490
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:26
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 15:27
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