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Neurophysiological correlates of bilingual advantage and its contribution to cognitive reserve

Descripción del proyecto

Se ponen a prueba las capacidades cognitivas de personas mayores bilingües

Una investigación sobre las ventajas bilingües en las funciones ejecutivas sugiere que el bilingüismo retrasa cinco años la manifestación de la enfermedad de Alzheimer. Además, el bilingüismo durante toda la vida se relaciona con una mayor reserva cognitiva, que es la resistencia de la mente al daño cerebral. Dado el envejecimiento de la población europea, es importante encontrar formas de prevenir el deterioro cognitivo en personas mayores. En este contexto, el proyecto financiado con fondos europeos BILINGUALPLAS estudiará los procesos cognitivos específicos relacionados con la ventaja bilingüe en las funciones ejecutivas y los correlatos neuronales subyacentes. Cuatro muestras de personas mayores sanas (monolingües/bilingües con una baja/elevada reserva cognitiva) llevarán a cabo tareas cognitivas durante una grabación de electroencefalograma. El proyecto estudiará los correlatos neuronales de los procesos cognitivos que se producen durante la ejecución de las tareas.

Objetivo

Studies reported that bilingualism strengths executive functions in elderly and delays the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) onset for five years. These findings suggest that bilingualism enhances the cognitive reserve (CR). CR is a construct that includes a set of cognitively stimulating experiences (e.g. high education level, high occupational status) that enhance brain functional connectivity, leading to better cognitive functioning and delayed clinical AD onset. Since brain functional modulations maintained for a long period of time result in structural changes, studies suggested that enhanced functional and structural connectivity provide to persons with high CR greater resilience against changes related to physiological and pathological ageing. Considering the European population ageing, study of variables related to CR is crucial to prevent the cognitive decline in elderly and for the maintenance of public health systems. The aim of this project is studying the specific cognitive processes related to bilingual advantage in executive functions and the underlying neural correlates. Studies often failed to find a relationship between bilingualism and better executive functions. These studies often focused on cognitive control to inhibit irrelevant information but recent research suggested that bilingualism is mainly related to better attentional switching abilities. Also, high CR of the participants or low difficulty of the performed task could mask a bilingual advantage due to a ceiling effect in cognitive performance. Four samples of healthy elderly (monolinguals and bilinguals with low and high CR) will perform two cognitive tasks during an electroencephalogram (EEG) recording. Neural correlates of cognitive processes occurring during the tasks performance will be studied by using event-related potentials. Functional connectivity will be studied through EEG coherence and graph theory whereas structural connectivity will be studied by using diffusion weighted imaging.

Régimen de financiación

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF

Coordinador

BCBL BASQUE CENTER ON COGNITION BRAIN AND LANGUAGE
Aportación neta de la UEn
€ 172 932,48
Dirección
PASEO MIKELETEGI 69 2
20009 San Sebastian
España

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Región
Noreste País Vasco Gipuzkoa
Tipo de actividad
Research Organisations
Enlaces
Coste total
€ 172 932,48