Executive function in aphasia: is there a bilingual advantage?
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Previous studies have demonstrated that there is a bilingual advantage in neurotypical populations on tasks of executive functions, particularly inhibition. However, little research has been conducted on a population with aphasia. This study examined whether bilingual persons with aphasia (BPWA) and monolingual persons with aphasia (MPWA) displayed any differences on tasks of executive functions. Four BPWA and four MPWA matched for age and Western Aphasia Battery subtest scores were administered a linguistic Stroop task, a nonlinguistic Stroop task, a trail-making task, and a non-verbal memory task. Results demonstrated that the two groups did not have significantly different scores on any of the tasks. While both groups of PWA were slower than neurotypical adults on reaction time measures, accuracy on all four tasks was unimpaired and within the normal range. These results, although preliminary given the small sample size and high performance accuracy, suggest that there may not be a clear "bilingual advantage" on tasks of executive function.