Is there a relation between onset age of bilingualism and enhancement of cognitive control?

Citation:

Luk, G., DeSa, E., & Bialystok, E. (2011). Is there a relation between onset age of bilingualism and enhancement of cognitive control? Bilingualism: Language and Cognition , 14, 488-495. Copy at http://j.mp/2nK8fRq

Abstract:

[Correction Notice: An erratum for this article was reported in Vol 14(4) of Bilingualism: Language and Cognition (see record 2011-22118-013). In the original article, in Figure 2, the caption should have indicated the right group of bars as "Incongruent-Congruent". The corrected figure is present in this erratum.] Young English-speaking monolingual and bilingual adults were examined for English proficiency, language use history, and performance on a flanker task. The bilinguals, who were about twenty years old, were divided into two groups (early bilinguals and late bilinguals) according to whether they became actively bilingual before or after the age of ten years. Early bilinguals and monolinguals demonstrated similar levels of English proficiency, and both groups were more proficient in English than late bilinguals. In contrast, early bilinguals produced the smallest response time cost for incongruent trials (flanker effect) with no difference between monolinguals and late bilinguals. Moreover, across the whole sample of bilinguals, onset age of active bilingualism was negatively correlated with English proficiency and positively correlated with the flanker effect. These results suggest a gradient in which more experience in being actively bilingual is associated with greater advantages in cognitive control and higher language proficiency.