The Role of the Cognitive Control System in Recovery from Bilingual Aphasia: A Multiple Single-Case fMRI Study.
ABSTRACT: Aphasia in bilingual patients is a therapeutic challenge since both languages can be impacted by the same lesion. Language control has been suggested to play an important role in the recovery of first (L1) and second (L2) language in bilingual aphasia following stroke. To test this hypothesis, we collected behavioral measures of language production (general aphasia evaluation and picture naming) in each language and language control (linguistic and nonlinguistic switching tasks), as well as fMRI during a naming task at one and four months following stroke in five bilingual patients suffering from poststroke aphasia. We further applied dynamic causal modelling (DCM) analyses to the connections between language and control brain areas. Three patients showed parallel recovery in language production, one patient improved in L1, and one improved in L2 only. Language-control functions improved in two patients. Consistent with the dynamic view of language recovery, DCM analyses showed a higher connectedness between language and control areas in the language with the better recovery. Moreover, similar degrees of connectedness between language and control areas were found in the patients who recovered in both languages. Our data suggest that engagement of the interconnected language-control network is crucial in the recovery of languages.
Project description:Patterns of language impairment in multilingual speakers with post-stroke aphasia are diverse: in some cases the language deficits are parallel, that is, all languages are impaired relatively equally, whereas in other cases deficits are differential, that is, one language is more impaired than the other(s). This diversity stems from the intricate structure of the multilingual language system, which is shaped by a complex interplay of influencing factors, such as age of language acquisition, frequency of language use, premorbid proficiency, and linguistic similarity between one's languages. Previous theoretical reviews and empirical studies shed some light on these factors, however no clear answers have been provided. The goals of this review were to provide a timely update on the increasing number of reported cases in the last decade and to offer a systematic analysis of the potentially influencing variables. One hundred and thirty cases from 65 studies were included in the present systematic review and effect sizes from 119 cases were used in the meta-analysis. Our analysis revealed better performance in L1 compared to L2 in the whole sample of bilingual speakers with post-stroke aphasia. However, the magnitude of this difference was influenced by whether L2 was learned early in childhood or later: those who learned L2 before 7 years of age showed comparable performance in both of their languages contrary to the bilinguals who learned L2 after 7 years of age and showed better performance in L1 compared to L2. These robust findings were moderated mildly by premorbid proficiency and frequency of use. Finally, linguistic similarity did not appear to influence the magnitude of the difference in performance between L1 and L2. Our findings from the early bilingual subgroup were in line with the previous reviews which included mostly balanced early bilinguals performing comparably in both languages. Our findings from the late bilingual subgroup stressed the primacy of L1 and the importance of age of L2 learning. In addition, the evidence from the present review provides support for theories emphasizing the role of premorbid proficiency and language use in language impairment patterns in bilingual aphasia.
Project description:Individuals with aphasia frequently show lexical retrieval deficits due to increased interference of semantically related competitors, a phenomenon that can be observed in tasks such as naming pictures grouped by semantic category. These deficits are explained in terms of impaired semantic control, a set of abilities that are to some extent dependent upon executive control (EC). However, the extent to which semantic control abilities can be affected in a second and non-dominant language has not been extensively explored. Additionally, findings in healthy individuals are inconclusive regarding the degree to which semantic processing is shared between languages. In this study, we explored the effect of brain damage on semantic processing by comparing the performance of bilingual individuals with aphasia on tasks involving semantic control during word production and comprehension. Furthermore, we explored whether semantic deficits are related to domain-general EC deficits. First, we investigated the naming performance of Catalan-Spanish bilinguals with fluent aphasia and age-matched healthy controls on a semantically blocked cyclic naming task in each of their two languages (Catalan and Spanish). This task measured semantic interference in terms of the difference in naming latencies between pictures grouped by the same semantic category or different categories. Second, we explored whether lexical deficits extend to comprehension by testing participants in a word-picture matching task during a mixed language condition. Third, we used a conflict monitoring task to explore the presence of EC deficits in patients with aphasia. We found two main results. First, in both language tasks, bilingual patients' performances were more affected than those of healthy controls when they performed the task in their non-dominant language. Second, there was a significant correlation between the speed of processing on the EC task and the magnitude of the semantic interference effect exclusively in the non-dominant language. Taken together, these results suggest that lexical retrieval may be selectively impaired in bilinguals within those conditions where semantic competition is higher, i.e.,- in their non-dominant language; this could possibly be explained by an excessive amount of inhibition placed upon this language. Moreover, lexico-semantic impairments seem to be at least somewhat related to conflict monitoring deficits, suggesting a certain degree of overlap between EC and semantic control.
Project description:Word retrieval in bilingual speakers partly depends on executive control systems in the left prefrontal cortex - including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). We tested the hypothesis that DLPFC modulates word production of words specifically in a second language (L2) by measuring the effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (anodal-tDCS) over the DLPFC on picture naming and word translation and on event-related potentials (ERPs) and their sources. Twenty-six bilingual participants with "unbalanced" proficiency in two languages were given 20 min of 1.5 mA anodal or sham tDCS (double-blind stimulation design, counterbalanced stimulation order, 1-week intersession delay). The participants then performed the following tasks: verbal and non-verbal fluency during anodal-tDCS stimulation and first and second language (L1 and L2) picture naming and translation [forward (L1 ? L2) and backward (L2 ? L1)] immediately after stimulation. The electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded during picture naming and translation. On the behavioral level, anodal-tDCS had an influence on non-verbal fluency but neither on verbal fluency, nor on picture naming and translation. EEG measures revealed significant interactions between Language and Stimulation on picture naming around 380 ms post-stimulus onset and Translation direction and Stimulation on translation around 530 ms post-stimulus onset. These effects suggest that L2 phonological retrieval and phoneme encoding are spatially and temporally segregated in the brain. We conclude that anodal-tDCS stimulation has an effect at a neural level on phonological processes and, critically, that DLPFC-mediated activation is a constraint on language production specifically in L2.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive deterioration of language. Being rare, reports of PPA in multilingual individuals are scarce, despite more than half of the world population being multilingual. METHODS:We describe clinical characteristics of 33 bilingual patients with PPA, including symptom presentation and language deficits pattern in their first (L1) and second language (L2), through a systematic literature review and new cases retrospectively identified in 5 countries. RESULTS:In total, 14 patients presented with nonfluent/agrammatic variant, 6 with semantic variant, and 13 with logopenic variant, with a median symptom onset of 2 years. Word-finding difficulties was the first symptom in 65% of all cases, initially noticed in L2, and not always the dominant language. Our group had 22 different languages as L1, and 9 as L2. At the whole-group level there was a tendency for parallel impairment in both languages, in line with the shared bilingual neural substrate hypothesis, but each PPA variant showed some heterogeneity. DISCUSSION:Each PPA variant showed heterogeneity, showing the need for comprehensive language and cognitive assessment across languages, as well as further clarification on the role of language mediators.
Project description:Although bilingual children frequently switch between languages, the psycholinguistic mechanisms underlying the emerging ability to control language choice are unknown. We examined the mechanisms of voluntary language switching in English-Spanish bilingual children during a picture-naming task under two conditions: 1) single-language naming in English and in Spanish; 2) either-language naming, when the children could use whichever language they wanted. The mechanism of inhibitory control was examined by analyzing local switching costs and global mixing costs. The mechanism of lexical accessibility was examined by analyzing the properties of the items children chose to name in their non-dominant language. The children exhibited significant switching costs across both languages and asymmetrical mixing costs; they also switched into their non-dominant language most frequently on highly accessible items. These findings suggest that both lexical accessibility and inhibition contribute to language choice during voluntary language switching in children.
Project description:Half of the global population can be considered bilingual. Nevertheless when faced with patients with aphasia, clinicians and therapists usually ignore the patient's second language (L2) albeit its interference in first language (L1) processing has been shown. The excellent temporal resolution by which each individual linguistic component can be gaged during word-processing, promoted the event-related potential (ERP) technique for studying language processing in healthy bilinguals and monolingual aphasia patients. However, this technique has not yet been applied in the context of bilingual aphasia. In the current study, we report on L2 interference in L1 processing using the ERP technique in bilingual aphasia. We tested four bilingual- and one trilingual patients with aphasia, as well as several young and older (age-matched with patients) healthy subjects as controls. We recorded ERPs when subjects were engaged in a semantic association judgment task on 122 related and 122 unrelated Dutch word-pairs (prime and target words). In 61 related and 61 unrelated word-pairs, an inter-lingual homograph was used as prime. In these word-pairs, when the target was unrelated to the prime in Dutch (L1), it was associated to the English (L2) meaning of the homograph. Results showed a significant effect of homograph use as a prime on early and/or late ERPs in response to word-pairs related in Dutch or English. Each patient presented a unique pattern of L2 interference in L1 processing as reflected by his/her ERP image. These interferences depended on the patient's pre- and post-morbid L2 proficiency. When the proficiency was high, the L2 interference in L1 processing was higher. Furthermore, the mechanism of interference in patients that were pre-morbidly highly proficient in L2 additionally depended on the frequency of pre-morbid L2 exposure. In summary, we showed that the mechanism behind L2 interference in L1 processing in bilingual patients with aphasia depends on a complex interaction between pre- and post-morbid L2 proficiency, pre- and post-morbid L2 exposure, impairment and the presented stimulus (inter-lingual homographs). Our ERP study complements the usually adopted behavioral approach by providing new insights into language interactions on the level of individual linguistic components in bilingual patients with aphasia.
Project description:The present study explored the bilingual cognitive control mechanism by comparing Chinese-English bilinguals' language switching in a blocked picture naming paradigm against three baseline conditions, namely the control condition (a fixation cross, low-level baseline), single L1 production (Chinese naming, high-level baseline), and single L2 production (English naming, high-level baseline). Different activation patterns were observed for language switching against different baseline conditions. These results indicate that different script bilingual language control involves a fronto-parietal-subcortical network that extends to the precentral gyrus, the Supplementary Motor Area, the Supra Marginal Gyrus, and the fusiform. The different neural correlates identified across different comparisons supported that bilingual language switching involves high-level cognitive processes that are not specific to language processing. Future studies adopting a network approach are crucial in identifying the functional connectivity among regions subserving language control.
Project description:Even in languages that do not share script, bilinguals process cognates faster than matched noncognates in a range of tasks. The current research more fully explores what underpins the cognate 'advantage' in different script bilinguals (Japanese-English). To do this, instead of the more traditional binary cognate/noncognate distinction, the current study uses continuous measures of phonological and semantic overlap, L2 (second language) proficiency and lexical variables (e.g., frequency). An L2 picture naming (Experiment 1) revealed a significant interaction between phonological and semantic similarity and demonstrates that degree of overlap modulates naming times. In lexical decision (Experiment 2), increased phonological similarity (e.g., bus/basu/vs. radio/rajio/) lead to faster response times. Interestingly, increased semantic similarity slowed response times in lexical decision. The studies also indicate how L2 proficiency and lexical variables modulate L2 word processing. These findings are explained in terms of current models of bilingual lexical processing.
Project description:A bilingual pediatric patient who underwent tumor resection was mapped extraoperatively using cortical stimulation to preserve English and Hebrew languages. The authors mapped both languages by using 4 tasks: 1) English visual naming, 2) Hebrew visual naming, 3) read English/respond Hebrew, and 4) Hebrew reading. Essential cortical sites for primary and secondary languages were compared, photographically recorded, and plotted onto a schematic brain of the patient. Three types of sites were found in this patient: 1) multiuse sites (multiple tasks, both languages) in frontal, temporal, and parietal areas; 2) single-task sites (1 task, both languages) in postcentral and parietal areas; and 3) single-use sites (1 task, 1 language) in frontal, temporal, and parietal areas. These results lend support to the concept that bilingual patients can have distinct cortical representations of each language and of different language tasks, in addition to overlapping or shared sites that support both languages and multiple tasks.
Project description:We examined if iconic pictures belonging to one's native culture interfere with second language production in bilinguals in an object naming task. Bengali-English bilinguals named pictures in both L1 and L2 against iconic cultural images representing Bengali culture or neutral images. Participants named in both "Blocked" and "Mixed" language conditions. In both conditions, participants were significantly slower in naming in English when the background was an iconic Bengali culture picture than a neutral image. These data suggest that native language culture cues lead to activation of the L1 lexicon that competed against L2 words creating an interference. These results provide further support to earlier observations where such culture related interference has been observed in bilingual language production. We discuss the results in the context of cultural influence on the psycholinguistic processes in bilingual object naming.