Distinguished lectures in humanities: developmental trends of the effects of language experience on cognitive control

The relationship between language experience and cognitive control (e.g., working memory, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility) could be very well illustrated by the cognitively demanding language experience of interpreting training. A series of our empirical studies with interpreting students (see DONG 2023 for a review), together with studies with professional interpreters in the literature, suggest that interpreting training may first enhance students’ working memory (WM) updating ability and then WM spans, with probable some decline of WM updating ability between the shift from the two WM abilities. Similar patterns may appear in other cognitive control functions, such as cognitive flexibility (first with switching cost reduced and then with mixing cost reduced) and multi-tasking coordination. These results could be explained by the task features of interpreting (including task schemas and their cognitive loads) (see DONG & LI 2020), suggesting a close and dynamic relationship between language experience and cognitive control.
Even date: 4/12/2023
Speaker: Prof. Yanping Dong (Zhejiang University)
Hosted by: Faculty of Humanities

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