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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2014, Article ID 679706, 20 pages
Research Article

Bilingual Language Control and General Purpose Cognitive Control among Individuals with Bilingual Aphasia: Evidence Based on Negative Priming and Flanker Tasks

Centre of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, Senate Hall Campus, University of Allahabad, Allahabad-211002, India

Received 15 January 2013; Accepted 13 October 2013; Published 7 May 2014

Academic Editor: Jubin Abutalebi

Copyright © 2014 Tanya Dash and Bhoomika R. Kar. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Bilingualism results in an added advantage with respect to cognitive control. The interaction between bilingual language control and general purpose cognitive control systems can also be understood by studying executive control among individuals with bilingual aphasia. Objectives. The current study examined the subcomponents of cognitive control in bilingual aphasia. A case study approach was used to investigate whether cognitive control and language control are two separate systems and how factors related to bilingualism interact with control processes. Methods. Four individuals with bilingual aphasia performed a language background questionnaire, picture description task, and two experimental tasks (nonlinguistic negative priming task and linguistic and nonlinguistic versions of flanker task). Results. A descriptive approach was used to analyse the data using reaction time and accuracy measures. The cumulative distribution function plots were used to visualize the variations in performance across conditions. The results highlight the distinction between general purpose cognitive control and bilingual language control mechanisms. Conclusion. All participants showed predominant use of the reactive control mechanism to compensate for the limited resources system. Independent yet interactive systems for bilingual language control and general purpose cognitive control were postulated based on the experimental data derived from individuals with bilingual aphasia.