DOI: 10.3390/brainsci13091231 ISSN:

Age of Bilingual Onset Shapes the Dynamics of Functional Connectivity and Laterality in the Resting-State

Yucen Sheng, Songyu Yang, Juan Rao, Qin Zhang, Jialong Li, Dianjian Wang, Weihao Zheng
  • General Neuroscience

Bilingualism is known to enhance cognitive function and flexibility of the brain. However, it is not clear how bilingual experience affects the time-varying functional network and whether these changes depend on the age of bilingual onset. This study intended to investigate the bilingual-related dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) based on the resting-state functional magnetic resonance images, including 23 early bilinguals (EBs), 30 late bilinguals (LBs), and 31 English monolinguals. The analysis identified two dFC states, and LBs showed more transitions between these states than monolinguals. Moreover, more frequent left–right switches were found in functional laterality in prefrontal, lateral temporal, lateral occipital, and inferior parietal cortices in EBs compared with LB and monolingual cohorts, and the laterality changes in the anterior superior temporal cortex were negatively correlated with L2 proficiency. These findings highlight how the age of L2 acquisition affects cortico-cortical dFC pattern and provide insight into the neural mechanisms of bilingualism.

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