Poster D50, Monday, March 26, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Differences in Resting State Functional Connectivity Between Early and Late Bilinguals
Laura Mesite1, Sibylla Leon Guerrero1, Veronica Whitford2, Gigi Luk1; 1Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2The University of Texas at El Paso
We compared seed-based resting state connectivity among young adults (mean age = 25 years) who acquired their second language (L2) before 8 years (early bilinguals, n = 14) and those who acquired after 8 (late bilinguals, n = 14). Given the longer persistent need to attend to multiple language systems, we expected that early bilinguals would demonstrate stronger functional connectivity at rest among key regions related to language and executive control. Bilingual participants spoke a variety of first and second languages with comparable L2 proficiency across groups. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired on a 3-Tesla Siemens Prisma scanner with a 32-channel head coil. Participants underwent a 6-minute resting state scan and the functional data were pre-processed using afni_proc.py. FWE-corrected group differences were investigated using 3dGroupInCorr in AFNI with seed regions related to language and executive control. Results showed that early bilinguals demonstrated stronger functional connectivity than late bilinguals between the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex seed (x=30, y=54, z=22, MNI) and bilateral posterior cingulate, bilateral anterior cingulate, and bilateral insula. In addition, activity in the right inferior frontal gyrus seed (x=50, y=16, z=18, MNI) was more strongly correlated with activity in the bilateral anterior and posterior cingulate, bilateral posterior cerebellum, and the left middle temporal gyrus for early bilinguals. These findings suggest that age of L2 acquisition modulated functional connectivity at rest, demonstrating stronger functional coupling between regions responsible for language and domain-general cognition for early bilinguals.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Other