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Pupil dilation is sensitive to the cognate status of words: further evidence for non-selectivity in bilingual lexical access*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 May 2016

Department of Psychology and Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC) Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Tarragona. Spain
Department of Psychology and Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC) Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Tarragona. Spain
Department of Psychology and Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC) Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Tarragona. Spain
Address for correspondence: Marc Guasch, Departament de Psicologia and CRAMC, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Carretera de Valls s/n, 43007, Tarragona, (Spain)


The cognate facilitation effect (i.e., a processing advantage for cognates compared to non-cognates) is an evidence of language non-selectivity in bilingual lexical access. Several studies using behavioral or electrophysiological measures have demonstrated that this effect is modulated by the degree of formal overlap between translations. However, it has never been tested with a psychophysiological measure such as pupillometry. In the present study we replicate the cognate facilitation effect by examining reaction times and pupil responses. Our results endorse pupillometry as a promising tool for bilingual research, and confirm the modulation of the cognate effect by the degree of formal similarity.

Research Notes
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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This research was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (PSI2012-37623, PCIN-2015-165-C02-02) and by the Rovira i Virgili University (2014PFR-URV-B2-37).


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Supplementary material: PDF

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