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MSCA-Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

Bilingual Experiences, Cognitive Ageing and underlying Mechanisms

Tildelt: kr 2,1 mill.

The goal of the Bilingual Experiences, Cognitive Ageing and underlying Mechanisms (BECAME) project is to examine the functional neuroplastic mechanisms underlying mitigatory effects of bilingual experience on age-related cognitive decline. While evidence is available for structural brain changes supporting bilingualism-induced effects on cognitive aging (CA), functional mechanisms underlying such effects are not yet well understood. BECAME aims to fill this gap by investigating the trajectory of bilingualism-induced functional neuroplasticity across the adult lifespan (ages 18-85), crucially adopting an individual differences approach related to measurable degree of bilingual engagement. Importantly, although such benefits are thought to be rooted early in the lifespan, evidence for the timeframe and conditions of their early emergence is scarce. The choice of including the whole adult lifespan allows us to investigate these mechanisms and their emergence more directly from a lifespan perspective. I combine behavioral testing with brain recordings via electroencephalography (EEG). EEG is widely used in cognitive neuroscience to assess brain activity and the degree of communication between brain regions (functional connectivity) in response to stimuli and at rest. Combining behavioral and EEG modalities will allow me to test bilingualism’s effect on functional connectivity, as well as its consequences for functional efficiency, the minimum required neural activation to successfully perform a task. This will enable a detailed, evidence-based account of the protective effects observed in older-aged bilinguals, and how they are built from earlier life stages. By illuminating the relationship between multilingualism and resulting neurocognitive adaptations, BECAME will enable to capitalize on it as a health initiative, with manifold societal implications and the potential to be translated into actionable policies exploiting multilingualism to ameliorate effects of CA.


MSCA-Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)