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Learning and processing of nonverbal symbolic information in bilinguals and monolinguals.

Blumenfeld HK, Adams AM - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: Yet the scope of such bilingual advantages remains underspecified.Participants were trained on 12 tone-to-symbol mappings, combining timbre, pitch, and duration of tones.During subsequent processing, participants viewed a display with four symbols, and were instructed to identify the symbol that matched a simultaneously-presented tone.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, San Diego State University San Diego, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Bilinguals have been shown to outperform monolinguals on word learning and on inhibition tasks that require competition resolution. Yet the scope of such bilingual advantages remains underspecified. We compared bilinguals and monolinguals on nonverbal symbolic learning and on competition resolution while processing newly-learned material. Participants were trained on 12 tone-to-symbol mappings, combining timbre, pitch, and duration of tones. During subsequent processing, participants viewed a display with four symbols, and were instructed to identify the symbol that matched a simultaneously-presented tone. On competition trials, two symbols matched the tone in timbre and pitch, but only one matched the tone on timbre, pitch, and duration. No learning differences emerged between 27 Spanish-English bilinguals and 27 English monolinguals, and more successful learners performed better on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary task. During the processing task, competition trials yielded responses with lower accuracies and longer latencies than control trials. Further, in both groups, more successful learning of tone-to-symbol mappings was associated with more successful retrieval during processing. In monolinguals, English receptive vocabulary scores also influenced retrieval efficiency during processing, with English/Spanish vocabulary less related to the novel processing task in bilinguals. Finally, to examine inhibition of competing stimuli, priming probes were presented after each tone-symbol processing trial. These probes suggested that bilinguals, and to a lesser extent monolinguals, showed residual inhibition of competitors at 200 ms post-target identification. Together, findings suggest that learning of novel symbolic information may depend in part on previous linguistic knowledge (not bilingualism per se), and that, during processing of newly-learned material, subtle differences in retrieval and competition resolution may emerge between bilinguals and monolinguals.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Relationship between target identification efficiency (ms/proportion correct) during sound-to-symbol matching and participants' performance on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Task (PPVT, z-transformed). Bilinguals: filled diamonds, solid line; Monolinguals: open circles, dotted line.
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Figure 5: Relationship between target identification efficiency (ms/proportion correct) during sound-to-symbol matching and participants' performance on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Task (PPVT, z-transformed). Bilinguals: filled diamonds, solid line; Monolinguals: open circles, dotted line.

Mentions: To examine target identification during processing of similar tone-to-symbol mappings, a mixed linear model was employed with fixed effects including trials with and without competitor symbols (competitor, filler; baseline: filler) and language group (bilingual, monolingual; baseline: monolingual). In addition, z-transformed PPVT scores were entered as a continuous predictor variable. Finally, participants and items (target type) were entered as random effects on the slope. Findings yielded a main effect of competitor, with longer and less accurate responses to competitor trials (M = 3663.0 ms/proportion correct, SE = 118.6) than to filler trials (M = 3388.8 ms/proportion correct, SE = 105.1), b = −608.7, SE = 295.5, p < 0.05. In addition, a main effect of vocabulary skill was found, with higher PPVT skills associated with quicker and more accurate responses (b = −44.6, SE = 295.8, p < 0.05). Finally, an interaction emerged between language group and PPVT, with a stronger association between target identification efficiency and PPVT performance in monolinguals (R2 = 0.209) relative to bilinguals (R2 = 0.025, see Figure 5), b = −980.8, SE = 533.8, p = 0.05. No other effects were significant.


Learning and processing of nonverbal symbolic information in bilinguals and monolinguals.

Blumenfeld HK, Adams AM - Front Psychol (2014)

Relationship between target identification efficiency (ms/proportion correct) during sound-to-symbol matching and participants' performance on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Task (PPVT, z-transformed). Bilinguals: filled diamonds, solid line; Monolinguals: open circles, dotted line.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4199272&req=5

Figure 5: Relationship between target identification efficiency (ms/proportion correct) during sound-to-symbol matching and participants' performance on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Task (PPVT, z-transformed). Bilinguals: filled diamonds, solid line; Monolinguals: open circles, dotted line.
Mentions: To examine target identification during processing of similar tone-to-symbol mappings, a mixed linear model was employed with fixed effects including trials with and without competitor symbols (competitor, filler; baseline: filler) and language group (bilingual, monolingual; baseline: monolingual). In addition, z-transformed PPVT scores were entered as a continuous predictor variable. Finally, participants and items (target type) were entered as random effects on the slope. Findings yielded a main effect of competitor, with longer and less accurate responses to competitor trials (M = 3663.0 ms/proportion correct, SE = 118.6) than to filler trials (M = 3388.8 ms/proportion correct, SE = 105.1), b = −608.7, SE = 295.5, p < 0.05. In addition, a main effect of vocabulary skill was found, with higher PPVT skills associated with quicker and more accurate responses (b = −44.6, SE = 295.8, p < 0.05). Finally, an interaction emerged between language group and PPVT, with a stronger association between target identification efficiency and PPVT performance in monolinguals (R2 = 0.209) relative to bilinguals (R2 = 0.025, see Figure 5), b = −980.8, SE = 533.8, p = 0.05. No other effects were significant.

Bottom Line: Yet the scope of such bilingual advantages remains underspecified.Participants were trained on 12 tone-to-symbol mappings, combining timbre, pitch, and duration of tones.During subsequent processing, participants viewed a display with four symbols, and were instructed to identify the symbol that matched a simultaneously-presented tone.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, San Diego State University San Diego, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Bilinguals have been shown to outperform monolinguals on word learning and on inhibition tasks that require competition resolution. Yet the scope of such bilingual advantages remains underspecified. We compared bilinguals and monolinguals on nonverbal symbolic learning and on competition resolution while processing newly-learned material. Participants were trained on 12 tone-to-symbol mappings, combining timbre, pitch, and duration of tones. During subsequent processing, participants viewed a display with four symbols, and were instructed to identify the symbol that matched a simultaneously-presented tone. On competition trials, two symbols matched the tone in timbre and pitch, but only one matched the tone on timbre, pitch, and duration. No learning differences emerged between 27 Spanish-English bilinguals and 27 English monolinguals, and more successful learners performed better on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary task. During the processing task, competition trials yielded responses with lower accuracies and longer latencies than control trials. Further, in both groups, more successful learning of tone-to-symbol mappings was associated with more successful retrieval during processing. In monolinguals, English receptive vocabulary scores also influenced retrieval efficiency during processing, with English/Spanish vocabulary less related to the novel processing task in bilinguals. Finally, to examine inhibition of competing stimuli, priming probes were presented after each tone-symbol processing trial. These probes suggested that bilinguals, and to a lesser extent monolinguals, showed residual inhibition of competitors at 200 ms post-target identification. Together, findings suggest that learning of novel symbolic information may depend in part on previous linguistic knowledge (not bilingualism per se), and that, during processing of newly-learned material, subtle differences in retrieval and competition resolution may emerge between bilinguals and monolinguals.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus