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When the tail counts: the advantage of bilingualism through the ex-gaussian distribution analysis

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dc.contributor.author Calabria, Marco
dc.contributor.author Hernández Pardo, Mireia
dc.contributor.author Martin, Clara D.
dc.contributor.author Costa, Albert, 1970-
dc.date.accessioned 2016-02-15T17:06:07Z
dc.date.available 2016-02-15T17:06:07Z
dc.date.issued 2011
dc.identifier.citation Calabria M, Hernández M, Martin CD, Costa A. When the tail counts: the advantage of bilingualism through the ex-Gaussian distribution analysis. Front Psychol. 2011;250(2):1-8. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00250.
dc.identifier.issn 1664-1078
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10230/25823
dc.description.abstract Several studies have documented the advantage of bilingualism with respect to the development of the executive control (EC) system. Two effects of bilingualism have been described in conflict resolution tasks: (a) bilinguals tend to perform the tasks faster overall, and (b) bilinguals tend to experience less interference from conflicting information, compared to monolinguals. The precise way in which the bilingual advantage relies on different EC mechanisms is still not well understood. The goal of the present article is to further explore how bilingualism impacts the EC system by performing a new analysis (Ex-Gaussian) of already reported data in which bilinguals and monolinguals performed a flanker task. Ex-Gaussian distribution analysis allows us to partial out the contribution of the normal and the exponential components of the RT distribution of the two groups. The fit of the raw data to the ex-Gaussian distribution showed two main results. First, we found that the bilingualism advantage in the overall speed of processing is captured by group differences in the normal (μ) and the exponential (τ) components of the distribution. Second, the bilingual advantage in the magnitude of the conflict effect is captured by group differences only in the exponential component. The results are discussed in terms of: (a) usefulness of the ex-Gaussian analysis as a tool to better describe the RT distribution, and (b) a new approach to explore the cognitive processes purportedly involved in instantiating the bilingualism advantage with respect to EC.
dc.description.sponsorship This research was supported by grants from the Spanish/ngovernment (PSI2008-01191, Consolider Ingenio 2010 CSD2007-/n00012) and the Catalan government (Consolidado SGR 2009-/n1521). This research was also supported by a Marie Curie/nInternational Outgoing Fellowship within the 7th European/nCommunity Framework Programme awarded to Mireia Hernández./nMarco Calabria and Clara Martin were supported by a/npostdoctoral fellowship from the Spanish Government (Juan/nde la Cierva fellowship). The authors are grateful to Ian/nFitzpatrick for his comments on previous versions of this/nmanuscript.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Frontiers Media
dc.relation.ispartof Frontiers in Psychology. 2011;250(2):1-8
dc.rights © 2011 Calabria, Hernández,Martin and Costa. This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
dc.title When the tail counts: the advantage of bilingualism through the ex-gaussian distribution analysis
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00250
dc.subject.keyword Bilingualism
dc.subject.keyword Executive control
dc.subject.keyword RT distribution analysis
dc.relation.projectID info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/2PN/CSD2007-00012
dc.relation.projectID info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/3PN/PSI2008-01191
dc.rights.accessRights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.type.version info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion

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