There is currently no agreement on which factor modulates most effectively and enduringly brain plasticity in bilingual individuals. Grouping heterogeneous linguistic profiles under a dichotomous condition (bilingualism versus monolingualism) may obscure critical aspects of language experience underlying neural changes, thus leading to variable and often conflicting findings. In the present study, we overcome these limitations by analyzing the individual and joint contribution of L2 AoA, proficiency and usage – all measured as continuous variables – on the resting-state functional connectivity of the brain networks mediating the specific demands of bilingual language processing: the language network and the executive control network. Our results indicate that bilingual experience – defined as a continuous and multifaceted phenomenon – impacts brain plasticity by modulating the functional connectivity both within and between language and control networks. Each experience-related factor considered played a role in changing the connectivity of these regions. Moreover, the effect of AoA was modulated by proficiency and usage. These findings shed new light on the importance of modeling bilingualism as a gradient measure rather than an all-or-none phenomenon.

Bilingualism as a gradient measure modulates functional connectivity of language and control networks / Sulpizio, S.; Del Maschio, N.; Del Mauro, G.; Fedeli, D.; Abutalebi, J.. - In: NEUROIMAGE. - ISSN 1053-8119. - 205:(2020), p. 116306. [10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116306]

Bilingualism as a gradient measure modulates functional connectivity of language and control networks

Sulpizio S.;Del Maschio N.;Del Mauro G.;Fedeli D.;Abutalebi J.
2020-01-01

Abstract

There is currently no agreement on which factor modulates most effectively and enduringly brain plasticity in bilingual individuals. Grouping heterogeneous linguistic profiles under a dichotomous condition (bilingualism versus monolingualism) may obscure critical aspects of language experience underlying neural changes, thus leading to variable and often conflicting findings. In the present study, we overcome these limitations by analyzing the individual and joint contribution of L2 AoA, proficiency and usage – all measured as continuous variables – on the resting-state functional connectivity of the brain networks mediating the specific demands of bilingual language processing: the language network and the executive control network. Our results indicate that bilingual experience – defined as a continuous and multifaceted phenomenon – impacts brain plasticity by modulating the functional connectivity both within and between language and control networks. Each experience-related factor considered played a role in changing the connectivity of these regions. Moreover, the effect of AoA was modulated by proficiency and usage. These findings shed new light on the importance of modeling bilingualism as a gradient measure rather than an all-or-none phenomenon.
2020
Bilingualism; Language experience; Neuroplasticity; Resting-state connectivity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11768/98369
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