Performance by early bilinguals of the combined test with the tasks of stroop, poffenberger, sperry in the foreign and native languages

T. Kutsenko, D. Nasiedkin
ESC "Institute of Biology and Medicine" Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv; Chuiko Institute of Surface Chemistry, Kyiv


The disclosure of neurophysiological foundations of both native and foreign languages is an actual problem of modern science, since their understanding can have not only theoretical but also practical, including social significance. The Stroop effect, which allows to estimate the level of voluntary attention, is also widely used in the study of language functions. By the task of Poffenberger, it is possible to evaluate the interhemispheric transfer of information. The study used a combined test with the tasks of the Stroop, Poffenberger, Sperry with native (Russian or Ukrainian) and foreign (English) languages. Students studying English were the subjects surveyed, but the vast majority of them never lived in the English-speaking environment. Stimuli (the word "Green" or "Red" written in relevant or irrelevant color) were exposed on the right or left from the center of the screen. In the case of congruence the word and its semantic meaning should press one button by the ipsilateral hand ("yes"), while in the case of mismatch – the other button by the contralateral one ("no"). In previous studies, we found that the answer "yes" is faster than answers "no" for both right and left hands. Comparison of latent period of reactions of similar responses of both hands showed that answer "yes" is faster for the right hand and answer "no" – for the left one, so that the difference in latent period between "yes" and "no" for the left hand is shorter than for the right one. This points out to easily transfer of information from the left hemisphere to the right one than in the opposite direction. Current study found out that in case of performing the test in the native language, in comparison with the foreign one, latent periods of reactions were in the average 60-70 ms longer with the same number of errors, which can be hypothetically explained by fewer associations of words of the foreign language and simpler neural networks for their processing. When performing the test in native language, the number of errors for both hands is the same, whereas when performing the test in English the left hand carries fewer errors than the right one. Probably this indicates that the center of
error control in the case of passing a test in a foreign language is situated in the right hemisphere.


early bilinguals, task of Stroop, tasks of Poffenberger, foreign language, native language

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Received: 09.04.2018

Revised: 13.05.2018

Signed for publication: 13.05.2018



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