Edited by Irina A. Sekerina, Lauren Spradlin and Virginia Valian
[Studies in Bilingualism 57] 2019
► pp. 281–293
Chapter 18. Interactions among speed of processing, cognitive control, age, and bilingualism
Bilingual children often exhibit superior speed of processing compared to monolingual peers in cognitive control tasks (e.g., Bialystok, 2010). In this chapter, we focus on the interactions among processing speed, cognitive control, age, and bilingualism. Individual differences in speed of processing reflect variation in participants’ skills and in task complexity. The more complex a task, the more cognitive control is involved (Cepeda, Blackwell, & Munakata, 2013). Age also interacts with speed of processing and cognitive control; the same speed of processing task may require more and/or different cognitive control processes at different ages. Furthermore, in bilingual children, speed of processing and cognitive control are associated with different components of their bilingual experience, such as language proficiency and age of acquisition. The cognitive control account (Cohen, 2017) provides a useful framework for studying information processing in bilingual children because it emphasizes the flexibility and adaptation of the cognitive system in response to changing contexts.