Does bilingualism affect how we think of our future actions?


Does bilingualism affect how we think of our future actions?

New research from our lab sheds light on how bilingualism impacts prospective memory (PM). PM refers to the ability to remember to perform an intended action in the future, such as sending an email, attending a meeting, or turning off the oven before our dinner gets burned.

The study, published in the journal «Bilingualism: Language and Cognition» compared bilinguals and monolinguals in their ability to recall future intentions in both their first (L1) and second (L2) language contexts. Bilinguals showed differences in prospective processes depending on the linguistic context in which they performed the task.

These findings suggest that bilingualism can modulate the cognitive processes involved in updating and cue detection for prospective memory tasks to adapt them to task demands. Bilinguals were able to engage executive control mechanisms to a greater extent than monolinguals in their first language context.
Interestingly, recalling future intentions in a second language context resulted in impairment of performance, especially in more demanding conditions. This indicates that the linguistic context can impact prospective memory processes in bilingual individuals.

Overall, the study provides valuable insights into the dynamic interaction between language processing and prospective memory in bilingual individuals. Understanding how bilingualism influences prospective memory can help address the cognitive challenges faced by bilingual individuals in their daily lives.

Find the original article here: López-Rojas, C., Marful, A., Pérez, A. I., & Bajo, M. T. (2023). Prospective memory in bilinguals: Recalling future intentions in first and second language contexts. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1-16.

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