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Brain Lang. 2013 Jan;124(1):56-65. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2012.11.008. Epub 2012 Dec 27.

Functional connectivity changes in second language vocabulary learning.

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Centre de Recherche Institut de Gériatrie de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Functional connectivity changes in the language network (Price, 2010), and in a control network involved in second language (L2) processing (Abutalebi & Green, 2007) were examined in a group of Persian (L1) speakers learning French (L2) words. Measures of network integration that characterize the global integrative state of a network (Marrelec, Bellec et al., 2008) were gathered, in the shallow and consolidation phases of L2 vocabulary learning. Functional connectivity remained unchanged across learning phases for L1, whereas total, between- and within-network integration levels decreased as proficiency for L2 increased. The results of this study provide the first functional connectivity evidence regarding the dynamic role of the language processing and cognitive control networks in L2 learning (Abutalebi, Cappa, & Perani, 2005; Altarriba & Heredia, 2008; Leonard et al., 2011; Parker-Jones et al., 2011). Thus, increased proficiency results in a higher degree of automaticity and lower cognitive effort (Segalowitz & Hulstijn, 2005).

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