Calvo N, Manoiloff L, Muñoz E, Contreras M, Ibáñez A, García AM. ¿El bilingüismo como protección ante la demencia? Inconsistencias empíricas y nuevas propuestas metodológicas. Círculo de Lingüística Aplicada a la Comunicación. 2016

¿El bilingüismo como protección ante la demencia? Inconsistencias empíricas y nuevas propuestas metodológicas. 

AUTORES Calvo N, Manoiloff L, Muñoz E, Contreras M, Ibáñez A, García AM.
AÑO 2016
JOURNAL Círculo de Lingüística Aplicada a la Comunicación
VOLUMEN  68
ABSTRACT Bilingualism and cognitive reserve: empirical inconsistencies and new methodological
proposals. Cognitive decline throughout healthy or pathological aging can be slowed
down by experiences which foster cognitive reserve. In this sense, some studies have
suggested that bilingualism may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the
evidence stems from retrospective approaches yielding contradictory results. The
present paper addresses these findings, identifies possible lurking variables, and outlines
methodological alternatives thereof. First, we characterize possible confounding factors,
namely: the criteria to establish bilingualism, differences in sample design, the
instruments used to examine cognitive skills, and variables known to modulate life-long
cognition. Second, we propose that these limitations could be largely circumvented
through experimental approaches and the use of adequate instruments to measure such
variables. Moreover, future research should incorporate tasks yielding predictable
patterns of contrastive performance between bilinguals and monolinguals (bilingual
disadvantages in vocabulary, null effects in working memory, advantages in inhibitory
control and other executive functions), and other which could offer valuable insights (e.
g., proactive interference tasks). Such considerations may shed light not just on the
relationship between bilingualism and cognitive reserve, but also on more general
mechanisms of cognitive compensation.
RESUMEN Este trabajo analiza las discrepancias empíricas en torno al bilingüismo como posible factor de reserva cognitiva. En él, caracterizamos los posibles factores de confusión en literatura y proponemos avenidas para esclarecer las controversias mediante diseños experimentales y el uso de instrumentos adecuados. Tales consideraciones pueden arrojar luz sobre los mecanismos de compensación cognitiva atribuidos al bilingüismo.