Executive control in a modified antisaccade task: Effects of aging and bilingualism

J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 2006 Nov;32(6):1341-54. doi: 10.1037/0278-7393.32.6.1341.


Two studies are reported that assess differences associated with aging and bilingualism in an executive control task. Previous work has suggested that bilinguals have an advantage over monolinguals in nonlinguistic tasks involving executive control; the major purpose of the present article is to ascertain which aspects of control are sensitive to the bilingual experience. Study 1 used an antisaccade task and found no effects of aging or bilingualism. Study 2 used the identical visual display but coupled to keypress responses. The results showed that bilinguals resolved various types of response conflict faster than monolinguals and that this bilingual advantage generally increased with age. A speculative interpretation of this pattern of results is offered in conclusion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Color Perception*
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Discrimination Learning
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multilingualism*
  • Orientation*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Problem Solving*
  • Reaction Time
  • Saccades*
  • Set, Psychology