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1 Attention and Inhibition in Bilingual Children: evidence from the dimensional change card sort Task By: Ellen Bialystok and Michelle M.Martin.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Attention and Inhibition in Bilingual Children: evidence from the dimensional change card sort Task By: Ellen Bialystok and Michelle M.Martin."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Attention and Inhibition in Bilingual Children: evidence from the dimensional change card sort Task By: Ellen Bialystok and Michelle M.Martin

2 2 The studies presented in this article examine the ability of monolinguals and bilinguals to solve a cognitive problem; Bilingualism Specific cognitive processes in children’s Development

3 3 Introduction; The Bilingual child vs. The Monolingual Differences in specific cognitive processes Analysis of representations; The process of constructing mental representations that are increasingly capable of recording information that is detailed, explicit and abstract Control of Attention; attention is selectively directed to specific aspects of a representation/ Inhibition

4 4 a. Associating words from two languages requires more advanced representation because it exists at a higher abstract level- Hierarchical semantic structure b. Attending one set of labels and ignoring equally meaningful labels from the other language requires control of Attention. Introduction; The Bilingual child vs. The Monolingual

5 5 Recent Studies have shown… Bilinguals… a. Better at judging the grammaticality of sentences with distracting semantic anomalies b. The meaning of a printed word does not change when it accompanies a different picture

6 6 Dimensional Change Card Sort Task Frye, Zelazo & Palfai, 1995; Zelazo, Frye & Rapus, 1996) The Findings of their Research … WHY (cognitive complexity and control theory)

7 7 Bialystok’s Study  Participants: Children 4-5 years old  Method: Dimensional Card Sort Task.  Result: Bilingual Advantage  Discussion: a. it is difficult for children at this stage, to conceptualize the stimuli and the rules to build a mental representation b. Children need to inhibit the response tendency set up by the initial stage of sorting- two sorting of inhibition are required: response inhibition (familiar motor action) and conceptual inhibition ( attending previously relevant features). c. The Proposal is that the difficulty in card sort problem is in Conceptual Inhibition

8 8 This study show that bilingual children may be better at representation, response inhibition and conceptual inhibition However… It could not distinguish between them

9 9 Three hypothesized outcomes! If the bilingual advantage in the previous study was from:  Greater representational Ability: that advantage should increase in all conditions as the conceptual demands increase. (perceptual vs. semantic)  Greater ability to execute response inhibition- bilinguals should outperform the monolinguals in all conditions  Enhanced ability in conceptual inhibition, then the prediction depends on an interaction between representation and inhibition demands

10 10 Study 1 Method: participants; 67 children 36 English monolinguals – 59.1 months 31 Chinese- English bilinguals- 58.9 months

11 11 Materials and Procedure Step I: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test Revised; standardized test of English receptive vocabulary

12 12 Step II Forward Digit span; working memory capacity 6, 4, 7, 2, … 1, 9, 4, 7, …

13 13 Step III Raven ’ s Colored Progressive Matrices; measure of general intelligence, reasoning by analogy,

14 14 Step IV Computerized Dimensional Change Card Sort a. Color Game … To press X or O X O

15 15 b. Color shape Game OR X O

16 16 C- Color Object Game … Meaningful objects instead of shapes OR X O

17 17 D- function-Location Game OR X O

18 18 Results

19 19 Results 0-3 4-6 7-10

20 20 Discussion - The results are close to the third hypothesized outcome; the bilingual advantage is based on conceptual inhibition.  In the color game; the post- switch phase depended on response inhibition, but both groups were equally able to suppress a familiar motor response to execute the updated classification- a thing that rules out inhibition as a source of task difficulty.  Conceptual inhibition- tasks that involve two dimensions- bilinguals outperform monolingual. BUT- function location game?  Conceptual inhibition depends on the complexity of the representation to which attention is directed./ the process of re-attributing the targets requires both inhibiting the original description and representing the stimulus in a new way. (perceptual feature vs. semantic feature)  The groups were equivalent in their ability to represent the stimuli. WHY

21 21 Thus, the first study rules out both the representational ability and response inhibition as the factors standing for the differences between monolinguals and bilinguals. The Next STUDY explores the differences between them that led or did not lead to a BILINGUAL advantage

22 22 Study 2 Method; Participants: 15 English monolinguals- 5;1 15 French English Bilingual- 4;6

23 23 Method Materials and Procedure: Step I: PPVT-R Step II: Digit span Step III: EVIP Step IV: manual versions of the dimensional change card sort task. (color shape and function location games)

24 24 Results The means scores out of 10/

25 25 Discussion  Clear bilingual advantage in the color shape game, but a more sporadic advantage in function-location game.  The Demands for response inhibition are the same in both games and the hierarchical rule structure (presented by Zelazo and his colleagues) is also the same. So, Why this is so? Color-Shape GameFunction-Location Game Perceptual featureSemantic Feature

26 26 Since the two games are similar in every other respect, this must be responsible for the divergence in performance by the two groups The next STUDY attempts to confirm this explanation by expanding the conditions based on this distinction between perceptual and semantic classification.

27 27 Study 3 Participants; 27 English monolingual- 4,2 years 26 Chinese-English Bilinguals- 4,4 years

28 28 Materials and Procedure  Step I- PPVT-R  Step II- The four conditions of the card sort task; - Color Shape Game - Color Object Game - Function Location Game - Kind Place Game Perceptual Games Semantic Games

29 29 Function-Location Game vs. Kind-Place Game Fish-like entities Car-like objects

30 30 Results The chi-square analysis proved that the first two conditions were significant among both language groups

31 31 Were different from chance for both groups Were not different from chance for both groups

32 32 Discussion  Significant differences between Perceptual features and semantic features  Bilinguals out performed monolinguals in certain tasks only (perceptual vs. semantic)

33 33 Summary of the Results

34 34 General Discussion Three main goals of these series of studies:  Bilingual advantage (perceptual vs. Semantic conditions)  In which conditions the bilingual advantage appears: Representation, response inhibition or conceptual inhibition  Understanding the cognitive demands of the task and how children develop these abilities

35 35 Conclusion  The demand for attention and inhibition  Early childhood bilingualism modifies children’s development of control of attention while having little impact on their analysis of representations  The bilingual advantage appeared mainly when the target presented perceptual features rather semantic features

36 36

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