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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2000 Dec;22(6):772-8.

Trail making across languages.

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Department of Psychology, The University of Hong Kong.


The effects of different language backgrounds on trail making tasks were examined in this study. The measures adopted were the Color Trails Test (CTT) and the Trail Making Test (TMT), the former being the culturally fair analogue of the latter. Eighty-four right-handed participants belonging to the Chinese-English Bilingual (CEB) and English Monolingual (EM) groups participated in this study. The results of between-group comparisons revealed no significant differences in performance on the two measures between our Chinese bilingual and English monolingual participants, except on the TMT-A. However, a within-group correlation indicated that performances on the TMT and CTT were highly correlated for the English sample, but not for the Chinese. These observations suggest that trail making tasks like the TMT and CTT are themselves generally fair across Chinese and English, but equivalence between them may be more language-specific. Furthermore, mastery of a language loaded on temporal sequencing like English may give an advantage in the completion of trail making tasks.

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