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Time course differences between bilinguals and monolinguals in the Simon task


Narra, M and Heathcote, A and Finkbeiner, M, Time course differences between bilinguals and monolinguals in the Simon task, Cognitive Control and Consequences of Multilingualism, John Benjamins Publishing Company, JB Schweiter (ed), Amsterdam, pp. 397-425. ISBN 9789027243720 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 John Benjamins Publishing Company

DOI: doi:10.1075/bpa.2


In the Simon task, individuals need to indicate the colour of the target stimulus while ignoring its spatial location. The Simon Effect refers to the finding that participants respond more quickly when the target stimulus and response effector are spatially compatible compared to when they are not. Thus, to optimize performance in the Simon task, individuals need to ignore the task-irrelevant (spatial) information and attend to the task-relevant (colour) information. Interestingly, it has been reported that bilinguals are faster than monolinguals in the Simon task and that they exhibit a smaller Simon effect. The present study investigates whether this so-called bilingual advantage is due to bilinguals being better at ignoring task-irrelevant information, or better at activating task-relevant information, or both. In a button-press version of the task, we do not observe a bilingual advantage, but in a reach-to-touch paradigm, we find that bilinguals suppress task-irrelevant information for longer and activate task-relevant information sooner

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Memory and attention
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Heathcote, A (Professor Andrew Heathcote)
ID Code:109326
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2016-06-08
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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