Title

Executive and Language Control in the Multilingual Brain

Authors

Authors

A. P. H. Kong; J. Abutalebi; K. S. Y. Lam;B. Weekes

Comments

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Abbreviated Journal Title

Behav. Neurol.

Keywords

SUBCORTICAL APHASIA; BILINGUAL APHASIA; LESIONS; RECOVERY; TASK; FMRI; Clinical Neurology

Abstract

Neuroimaging studies suggest that the neural network involved in language control may not be specific to bi-/multilingualism but is part of a domain-general executive control system. We report a trilingual case of a Cantonese (L1), English (L2), and Mandarin (L3) speaker, Dr. T, who sustained a brain injury at the age of 77 causing lesions in the left frontal lobe and in the left temporo-parietal areas resulting in fluent aphasia. Dr. T's executive functions were impaired according to a modified version of the Stroop color-word test and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test performance was characterized by frequent perseveration errors. Dr. T demonstrated pathological language switching and mixing across her three languages. Code switching in Cantonese was more prominent in discourse production than confrontation naming. Our case suggests that voluntary control of spoken word production in trilingual speakers shares neural substrata in the frontobasal ganglia system with domain-general executive control mechanisms. One prediction is that lesions to such a system would give rise to both pathological switching and impairments of executive functions in trilingual speakers.

Journal Title

Behavioural Neurology

Publication Date

1-1-2014

Document Type

Article

Language

English

First Page

7

WOS Identifier

WOS:000335701900001

ISSN

0953-4180

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