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Amin Ghamari, Mehdi Sohrabi and Alireza Saberi Kakhki

Abstract

Depending on the difficulty of the task in terms of movement duration and the number of elements forming the sequence, recent research has shown that movement sequences are coded in visual-spatial coordinates or motor coordinates. An interesting question that arises is how a specific manner of performance without a change in such functional difficulties affects the representation of movement sequences. Accordingly, the present study investigated how the way in which a movement sequence is performed affects the transfer of timing properties (absolute and relative timing) from the practised to unpractised hand under mirror (same motor commands as those used in practice) and non-mirror (the same visual-spatial coordinates as those present during practice) conditions in two experiments each with segment movement time goals that were arranged differently. The study showed that after a limited amount of practice, the pattern of results obtained for relative timing differed between the two experiments. In the first experiment, there was no difference between retention and non-mirror transfer, but performance on these tasks was significantly better than that for mirror transfer, whereas in the second experiment, there was no difference between the mirror and non-mirror transfer. For total errors, no significant difference was found between the retention and transfer tests in both experiments. It was concluded that the way in which a sequence is performed could affect the representation of the task and the transfer of relative timing, while absolute timing could purposefully be maintained if necessary.

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María Fernández-López and Manuel Perea

Abstract

Whether bilingualism has an effect on the executive function of non-verbal representations is probably one of the most controversial issues in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. As bilinguals have to alternate between two languages that compete for selection in their daily lives, they make use of selection, inhibition, and monitoring (i.e., components of executive function) more often than monolinguals. Thus, it would not be surprising that these highly trained abilities at selecting and monitoring the linguistic processes would also help the processing of non-linguistic representations. Although the “bilingual advantage” in executive control (Bialystok, 1999) has been repeatedly demonstrated, a number of recent studies—in particular since the publication of the Paap and Greenberg (2013) study—have questioned this effect. Both positive and null findings are currently being published from each of the two sides, thus making it difficult to reach consensus in the scientific community. Here, we propose a plausible solution to this debate: a group of independent researches should carry out a carefully planned large-scale study.

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Serenella Besio, Daniela Bulgarelli and Vaska Stancheva-Popkostadinova

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Serenella Besio

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Daniela Bulgarelli and Vaska Stancheva-Popkostadinova

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Daniela Bulgarelli, Nicole Bianquin, Francesca Caprino, Paola Molina and Sylvie Ray-Kaeser

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Sylvie Ray-Kaeser, Sandra Châtelain, Vardit Kindler and Eleanor Schneider