Attentional Switching in Infants Exposed to Bilingual Versus Monolingual Environment
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Acquiring two languages poses a challenge to bilingual individuals, but the process of switching attention between two languages may equip bilinguals with enhanced cognitive control abilities such as top-down attentional control. In the current study, 6- to 7-month-old monolingually- and bilingually-exposed infants were examined on a task that required the use of top-down attentional control. Using a task called the Visual Expectation Cueing Paradigm (VExCP), infants anticipatory eye movements (EM) were measured to determine if they could override the previously learned cue-target side relation presented during pre-switch and learn the new cue-target side relation in post-switch. Although monolingually- and bilingually-exposed infants showed relatively equal number of correct anticipatory EM initially during post-switch, bilingually-exposed infants, towards the end of the task, outperformed monolingually-exposed infants in exhibiting correct anticipatory EM.