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Language Control in the Bilingual Brain

Science  09 Jun 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5779, pp. 1537-1540
DOI: 10.1126/science.1127761

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Abstract

How does the bilingual brain distinguish and control which language is in use? Previous functional imaging experiments have not been able to answer this question because proficient bilinguals activate the same brain regions irrespective of the language being tested. Here, we reveal that neuronal responses within the left caudate are sensitive to changes in the language or the meaning of words. By demonstrating this effect in populations of German-English and Japanese-English bilinguals, we suggest that the left caudate plays a universal role in monitoring and controlling the language in use.

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