Bilingual consequences during early childhood: Memory recall and memory flexibility

dimarts, 2017, juny 13 - 12:00
Department of Psychology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Abstract

Bilingual exposure alters perceptual and cognitive processing starting during infancy (Kovács & Mehler, 2009a; Werker & Byers-Heinlin, 2008) resulting in lifelong consequences for linguistic and cognitive processing, both costs and benefits (Bialystok, 2011).  During infancy, bilingual exposure also alters memory processing. The talk will cover data on how bilingual exposure alters memory processing in children from 6 months to 3 years of age.  Memory flexibility involves the ability to recognize functional equivalence between objects despite perceptual changes. Monolinguals show high levels of memory specificity (e.g., Hayne, MacDonald & Barr, 1997) whereas bilinguals show evidence of earlier memory flexibility but no differences in memory recall.  These results suggest that bilingual infants may develop adaptive memory flexibility more rapidly than monolinguals. Dr. Barr will also discuss the implications of the work for our understanding of how early environmental variations shape the trajectory of memory development and cognitive flexibility, and practical implications for early bilingual education. Bilingual exposure alters perceptual and cognitive processing starting during infancy (Kovács & Mehler, 2009a; Werker & Byers-Heinlin, 2008) resulting in lifelong consequences for linguistic and cognitive processing, both costs and benefits (Bialystok, 2011).  During infancy, bilingual exposure also alters memory processing. The talk will cover data on how bilingual exposure alters memory processing in children from 6 months to 3 years of age.  Memory flexibility involves the ability to recognize functional equivalence between objects despite perceptual changes. Monolinguals show high levels of memory specificity (e.g., Hayne, MacDonald & Barr, 1997) whereas bilinguals show evidence of earlier memory flexibility but no differences in memory recall.  These results suggest that bilingual infants may develop adaptive memory flexibility more rapidly than monolinguals. Dr. Barr will also discuss the implications of the work for our understanding of how early environmental variations shape the trajectory of memory development and cognitive flexibility, and practical implications for early bilingual education.