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The relationship between language control and cognitive control in bilingual aphasia*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 May 2015

Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Boston University
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Boston University
Address for correspondence: Teresa Gray Speech Language and Hearing Sciences Boston University Sargent College 635 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA


This study examines language control deficits in bilingual aphasia in terms of domain specific cognitive control and domain general cognitive control. Thirty Spanish–English controls and ten Spanish–English adults with aphasia completed the flanker task and a word-pair relatedness judgment task. All participants exhibited congruency effects on the flanker task. On the linguistic task, controls did not show the congruency effect on the first level analysis. However, conflict ratios revealed that the control group exhibited significant effects of language control. Additionally, individual patient analysis revealed overall positive and negative effects of language control impairment and a benefit from semantically related word-pairs. Patient data suggest a dissociation between the mechanisms of language control and cognitive control, thus providing evidence for domain specific cognitive control. The influence of language proficiency on speed of translation was also examined. Generally, controls were faster when translating into their dominant language, whereas the patients did not show the same trends.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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We would like to thank all participants for their time and effort to complete the study. We also thank the members of the Aphasia Research Laboratory for their intellectual input.


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