3078 Bilingualism Across Signed and Spoken Languages

Friday, February 18, 2011: 2:30 PM
146A (Washington Convention Center )
Karen Emmorey, Ph.D. , San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Bimodal (speech-sign) bilinguals use separate perceptual and motoric systems for each language.  This separation of systems has significant implications for language processing and control, for the cognitive effects of bilingualism, and for the structural and neural changes that accompany bilingualism. Bimodal bilinguals often code-blend, rather than code-switch, producing elements of their two languages at the same time.  Reduced demands on language control and conflict for bimodal bilinguals appears to reduce the advantages in cognitive control that have been observed in unimodal bilinguals.  Bimodal bilingualism also uniquely affects brain organization for language and non-linguistic cognitive processes, altering the neural systems involved in audiovisual speech processing, motion processing, and facial expression recognition.