Mem Cognit 2015 Apr;43(3):441-52
Faculty of Education, Free University of Bolzano, Bressanone, Italy.
In the present study, we examined the effects of bilingualism and age on a color-shape binding task (assessing visual working memory) and a global-local task (assessing inhibitory processes) in a sample of 55 bilingual and 49 monolingual children 8 and 10 years old. In the color-shape binding task, corrected recognition scores increased in older children; bilingual children performed better than monolinguals in the shape-only condition, but the two groups were equally accurate in the color-only and combination conditions. In the global-local task, accuracy was higher in bilingual than in monolingual children, particularly on incongruent trials; monolingual children showed a strong global precedence effect (higher accuracy in the global than in the local conditions and greater global-to-local interference), whereas bilingual children exhibited a small, but significant, local precedence effect (higher accuracy in the local than in the global conditions and greater local-to-global interference). These findings confirm and extend previous evidence indicating that the bilingualism advantage is more pronounced in working memory tasks involving inhibitory processes.