Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name





Meital Avivi-Reich

Committee Members

Dorothy DiToro

Subject Categories

Communication | Health Communication


bilingual advantage, monolingual vs. bilingual, executive function modality, executive function in bilinguals


Introduction: On a daily basis, people are required to selectively attend, perceive, process and respond to the stimuli around them as they conduct different tasks. Many of these tasks may require auditory perception and processing and involve verbal communication. For many of us, our verbal environment involves more than one language. Some researchers argue that those who speak more than one language experience enhanced abilities in cognitive and attention control However, there may be processing costs that come with bilingual exposure and proficiency the present review aims to examine studies that assess executive function skills in both monolinguals and bilinguals to better understand how stimuli modality may affect performance and the possible demonstration of a bilingual advantage.

Methods: A total of nine studies that investigated the presence of a bilingual advantage in executive function (EF) tasks using visual and auditory stimuli modalities in monolingual and bilingual individuals were selected for this review.

Results: Executive function tasks which relied on an auditory (verbal or nonverbal) stimuli and a combination of visual and auditory (verbal) stimuli showed no advantages between monolinguals and bilinguals, with both groups performing similarly. For tasks where the stimuli modality was primarily visual with some nonverbal auditory information, a monolinguaadvantage was mainly present. However, when the stimuli modality was visual only a majority of the results indicated a bilingual advantage. These results imply that there may be an effect of stimuli modality on EF performance which differs between bilingual and monolingual participants. In addition, the current literature examining EF is limited and the methods used were found to be inconsistent. Thus, future research is required in order to further examine the effect stimuli modality may have on EF and how it may interact with linguistic experience