[lg policy] call: Bilingualism and Cognitive Aging

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 27 16:14:18 UTC 2014


Bilingualism and Cognitive Aging

Full Title: Bilingualism and Cognitive Aging
Short Title: BCA

Date: 28-Jan-2015 - 30-Jan-2015
Location: Groningen, Netherlands
Contact Person: Merel Keijzer
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://www.bilingualismandcognitiveaging2015.org

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics; Cognitive Science;
Neurolinguistics; Psycholinguistics

Call Deadline: 15-Sep-2014

Meeting Description:

Recent years have seen a host of studies on the topic of language and
cognitive control in bilingualism. Featuring prominently in this now quite
rich literature is the so-called cognitive control advantage; now found in
abundance are studies presenting converging (and diverging) evidence that
bilinguals outperform monolinguals on working memory capacity and executive
functioning tasks. What has been relatively underresearched these past few
years is how all of this pertains to aging bilinguals. This caveat is
counterintuitive, given that one of the most notable findings that sparked
the bulk of research into the cognitive advantage of bilinguals was that
older bilinguals do not suffer as much from the age-related cognitive
decline found in their monolinguals peers – even to the extent that the
onset of degenerate diseases like dementia takes place 4 years later, on
average, in bilinguals (Bialystok et al., 2004).

Perhaps now more than ever is the time to unravel the details underlying
cognitive aging in bilinguals. Due to increased life expectancies and
reduced birth rates, developed countries now see large numbers of older
adults (Alho, 2008). As a result of international mobility, a substantial
number of these elderly populations are multilingual. When zooming in on
bilingualism and cognitive aging, it is important that the issue of
language proficiency in both languages is addressed, which has often been
overlooked in the past. Substantial individual variation is likely to
characterize different groups of migrants and truly balanced bilinguals
make up only a small proportion of the population of older bilinguals in
any given country. Moreover, most previous work on language and cognitive
aging in bilingual contexts has focused on early simultaneous bilinguals,
as opposed to late sequential bilinguals that make up the bulk of migrant
communities. In other words, it is important to detail the language use
patterns as well as language proficiency and, crucially, language attrition
patterns (both of the first and second language) of these speakers as they
age, as these processes may all greatly impact on the cognitive and
language control of individual bilingual older adults.

The main aim of this conference is to bring together researchers working on
bilingualism and aging, both those applying behavioral and neuroimaging
techniques to their data sets, and who may come from different but related
fields such as psychology, linguistics or neuroscience. In a single-session
format, key topics in the exciting field of language and cognitive control
in older bilinguals are addressed and revisited to establish the current
state-of-the-art in this field.

We are very lucky to have 5 leading, internationally renowned, plenary
speakers headlining our event:

Prof. Jubin Abutalebi – University Vita-Salute San Raffaele/ University of
Hong Kong
Prof. Thomas Bak – University of Edinburgh
Prof. Ellen Bialystok – York University
Prof. Kees de Bot – University of Groningen
Prof. Deborah Burke – Pomona College

Organizing Committee:

Dr. Merel Keijzer – University of Groningen
Prof. Monika Schmid – University of Groningen / University of Essex
Prof. Mike Sharwood Smith – University of Edinburgh
Anna Pot MA

2nd Call for Papers:

Paper and poster proposal submissions that address the conference theme are
welcomed from all fields related to the general topic of bilingualism and
cognitive aging, including linguistics, (cognitive) psychology, and
(cognitive) neuroscience. Subtopics within which contributions are welcomed
include, but are not limited to:

- Language maintenance and attrition in aging bilinguals
- Language use and proficiency patterns in aging bilinguals and their
influence on language and cognitive control
- Neurological correlates of language and cognitive control in aging
bilinguals
- The cognitive advantage in aging bilinguals
- Individual differences (in language and cognitive control) in aging
bilinguals

Contributions to the program can take the form of traditional paper
presentations (20 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions/discussion) or
poster presentations (the meeting will prominently feature 2 poster
sessions, each 1,5 hours in length. In addition, Bilingualism: Language and
Cognition is generously offering a poster prize for the best poster of the
conference). All proposals are subjected to a blind-review process and
assessed on the basis of their relevance regarding the conference theme,
their quality and originality, and also the discussion they are expected to
generate.

As the meeting is deliberately designed as a single-session conference,
please note that we can only accommodate a limited number of paper
presentations. Abstracts with a maximum word length of 300 may be submitted
to our email address of bilingualismcognitiveaginggmail.com. The deadline
for submission is 15 September 2014. Please also indicate whether you would
like your proposal to be considered for a paper or a poster presentation.
Further details about the conference and submission of proposals can be
found on the conference website: www.bilingualismandcognitiveaging2015.org.

Important Dates:

23 May 2014: Call for papers is issued
15 August 2014: Second call for papers (reminder) is issued
15 September: Deadline for proposals (11.59 P.M. CET)
31 October 2014: Notification of acceptance
15 November 2014: Conference registration opens
28-30 January 2015: Conference

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