Graded bilingual effects on attentional network function in Chinese high school students

Adam John Privitera, Mohammad Momenian, Brendan Weekes

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Effective communication in multilingual environments requires bilinguals to constantly monitor linguistic cues. It is hypothesized that the constant need to monitor may result in improved attention. However, previous investigations have reported mixed, often null results, with positive findings attributed to non-linguistic variables. To address these issues, we investigated whether higher levels of bilingualism were associated with improved attentional function in a sample of culturally and socioeconomically homogenous Mandarin–English speaking bilingual adolescents. Participants completed the Attention Network Task to assess attentional network function. Data were analyzed using linear mixed-effects models in order to account for nontrivial differences. Mixed results provide partial support for domain general cognitive benefits associated with higher levels of bilingualism. Both improved and reduced performance differed based on the specific dimension of bilingualism and the attentional network assessed. Findings support the conclusion that separable dimensions of bilingual language experience assert different influences on attentional network function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-537
JournalBilingualism: Language and Cognition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • executive function
  • attention
  • bilingual effects
  • ANT
  • mixed-effects modeling


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