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Language conflict in the bilingual brain.

van Heuven WJ, Schriefers H, Dijkstra T, Hagoort P - Cereb. Cortex (2008)

Bottom Line: The large majority of humankind is more or less fluent in 2 or even more languages.This raises the fundamental question how the language network in the brain is organized such that the correct target language is selected at a particular occasion.Importantly, stimulus-based language conflict was found in brain regions in the LIPC associated with phonological and semantic processing, whereas response-based language conflict was only found in the pre-supplementary motor area/anterior cingulate cortex when language conflict leads to response conflicts.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Nijmegen Institute for Cognition and Information, Radboud University Nijmegen, Montessorilaan 3, 6525 HR, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. wvh@psychology.nottingham.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
The large majority of humankind is more or less fluent in 2 or even more languages. This raises the fundamental question how the language network in the brain is organized such that the correct target language is selected at a particular occasion. Here we present behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging data showing that bilingual processing leads to language conflict in the bilingual brain even when the bilinguals' task only required target language knowledge. This finding demonstrates that the bilingual brain cannot avoid language conflict, because words from the target and nontarget languages become automatically activated during reading. Importantly, stimulus-based language conflict was found in brain regions in the LIPC associated with phonological and semantic processing, whereas response-based language conflict was only found in the pre-supplementary motor area/anterior cingulate cortex when language conflict leads to response conflicts.

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(A) Brain areas that show greater activation for words than for pseudowords in Dutch–English bilinguals performing an ELD task and a GLD task, and English monolinguals performing an ELD task (coordinates in Tables S6, S7, S8). (B) Brain activation differences between Dutch–English bilinguals in the ELD task and English monolinguals for the contrast between words and pseudowords (Table S9). (C) Brain activation differences between English monolinguals and Dutch–English bilinguals in the ELD task for the contrast between words and pseudowords (Table S9). (D) Brain activation differences between English monolinguals and Dutch–English bilinguals in the GLD task for the contrast between words and pseudowords (Table S9).
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fig5: (A) Brain areas that show greater activation for words than for pseudowords in Dutch–English bilinguals performing an ELD task and a GLD task, and English monolinguals performing an ELD task (coordinates in Tables S6, S7, S8). (B) Brain activation differences between Dutch–English bilinguals in the ELD task and English monolinguals for the contrast between words and pseudowords (Table S9). (C) Brain activation differences between English monolinguals and Dutch–English bilinguals in the ELD task for the contrast between words and pseudowords (Table S9). (D) Brain activation differences between English monolinguals and Dutch–English bilinguals in the GLD task for the contrast between words and pseudowords (Table S9).

Mentions: Lexicality effects in the bilingual and monolingual data were investigated by contrasting brain responses to English words with those to pseudowords. For bilinguals in the ELD task, the contrast resulted in stronger activation for words bilaterally in the LIPC (BA 45, 47), the medial frontal gyrus (BA 8) and the ACC (BA 32), and the left lingual gyrus (BA 17). Furthermore, stronger responses were also found in the left caudate (Fig. 5A; Table S6 in Supplementary Material). Pseudowords in the ELD task were activated more strongly than words the SMA (BA 6) and the pre- and postcentral gyri (BA 3, 4, 6) (Table S6 in Supplementary Material). Lexicality effects in the GLD task were found in regions in LIPC (BA 45, 45/46, 47), the left parietal lobule (BA 40) and the left angular gyrus (BA 39), and the left middle temporal gyrus (BA 21, 21/37) (Fig. 5A; Table S7). For the monolingual participants, stronger activations for words than pseudowords were observed in the left anterior middle frontal gyrus (BA 21), the left supramarginal gyrus (BA 40), and the left superior temporal gyrus (BA 22). In the right hemisphere stronger activations were found in the IFG (BA 47) and the right middle and superior temporal gyri (BA 21, 22) (Fig. 5A; Table S8). No brain regions were more strongly activated for pseudowords than for words in the monolinguals and in the bilinguals that participated in the GLD task (Tables S7, S8 in Supplementary Material).


Language conflict in the bilingual brain.

van Heuven WJ, Schriefers H, Dijkstra T, Hagoort P - Cereb. Cortex (2008)

(A) Brain areas that show greater activation for words than for pseudowords in Dutch–English bilinguals performing an ELD task and a GLD task, and English monolinguals performing an ELD task (coordinates in Tables S6, S7, S8). (B) Brain activation differences between Dutch–English bilinguals in the ELD task and English monolinguals for the contrast between words and pseudowords (Table S9). (C) Brain activation differences between English monolinguals and Dutch–English bilinguals in the ELD task for the contrast between words and pseudowords (Table S9). (D) Brain activation differences between English monolinguals and Dutch–English bilinguals in the GLD task for the contrast between words and pseudowords (Table S9).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2567421&req=5

fig5: (A) Brain areas that show greater activation for words than for pseudowords in Dutch–English bilinguals performing an ELD task and a GLD task, and English monolinguals performing an ELD task (coordinates in Tables S6, S7, S8). (B) Brain activation differences between Dutch–English bilinguals in the ELD task and English monolinguals for the contrast between words and pseudowords (Table S9). (C) Brain activation differences between English monolinguals and Dutch–English bilinguals in the ELD task for the contrast between words and pseudowords (Table S9). (D) Brain activation differences between English monolinguals and Dutch–English bilinguals in the GLD task for the contrast between words and pseudowords (Table S9).
Mentions: Lexicality effects in the bilingual and monolingual data were investigated by contrasting brain responses to English words with those to pseudowords. For bilinguals in the ELD task, the contrast resulted in stronger activation for words bilaterally in the LIPC (BA 45, 47), the medial frontal gyrus (BA 8) and the ACC (BA 32), and the left lingual gyrus (BA 17). Furthermore, stronger responses were also found in the left caudate (Fig. 5A; Table S6 in Supplementary Material). Pseudowords in the ELD task were activated more strongly than words the SMA (BA 6) and the pre- and postcentral gyri (BA 3, 4, 6) (Table S6 in Supplementary Material). Lexicality effects in the GLD task were found in regions in LIPC (BA 45, 45/46, 47), the left parietal lobule (BA 40) and the left angular gyrus (BA 39), and the left middle temporal gyrus (BA 21, 21/37) (Fig. 5A; Table S7). For the monolingual participants, stronger activations for words than pseudowords were observed in the left anterior middle frontal gyrus (BA 21), the left supramarginal gyrus (BA 40), and the left superior temporal gyrus (BA 22). In the right hemisphere stronger activations were found in the IFG (BA 47) and the right middle and superior temporal gyri (BA 21, 22) (Fig. 5A; Table S8). No brain regions were more strongly activated for pseudowords than for words in the monolinguals and in the bilinguals that participated in the GLD task (Tables S7, S8 in Supplementary Material).

Bottom Line: The large majority of humankind is more or less fluent in 2 or even more languages.This raises the fundamental question how the language network in the brain is organized such that the correct target language is selected at a particular occasion.Importantly, stimulus-based language conflict was found in brain regions in the LIPC associated with phonological and semantic processing, whereas response-based language conflict was only found in the pre-supplementary motor area/anterior cingulate cortex when language conflict leads to response conflicts.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Nijmegen Institute for Cognition and Information, Radboud University Nijmegen, Montessorilaan 3, 6525 HR, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. wvh@psychology.nottingham.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
The large majority of humankind is more or less fluent in 2 or even more languages. This raises the fundamental question how the language network in the brain is organized such that the correct target language is selected at a particular occasion. Here we present behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging data showing that bilingual processing leads to language conflict in the bilingual brain even when the bilinguals' task only required target language knowledge. This finding demonstrates that the bilingual brain cannot avoid language conflict, because words from the target and nontarget languages become automatically activated during reading. Importantly, stimulus-based language conflict was found in brain regions in the LIPC associated with phonological and semantic processing, whereas response-based language conflict was only found in the pre-supplementary motor area/anterior cingulate cortex when language conflict leads to response conflicts.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus