Neural basis of language switching in the brain: FMRI evidence from Korean-Chinese early bilinguals

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Abstract

Using fMRI, we conducted two types of property generation task that involved language switching, with early bilingual speakers of Korean and Chinese. The first is a more conventional task in which a single language (L1 or L2) was used within each trial, but switched randomly from trial to trial. The other consists of a novel experimental design where language switching happens within each trial, alternating in the direction of the L1/L2 translation required. Our findings support a recently introduced cognitive model, the 'hodological' view of language switching proposed by Moritz-Gasser and Duffau. The nodes of a distributed neural network that this model proposes are consistent with the informative regions that we extracted in this study, using both GLM methods and Multivariate Pattern Analyses: the supplementary motor area, caudate, supramarginal gyrus and fusiform gyrus and other cortical areas.

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Lei, M., Akama, H., & Murphy, B. (2014). Neural basis of language switching in the brain: FMRI evidence from Korean-Chinese early bilinguals. Brain and Language, 138, 12–18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2014.08.009

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