Possibly these are of interest:

1) de Castro, Christopher H., "Assessing the Impact of Computer Programming in 
Understanding Limits and Derivatives in a Secondary Mathematics Classroom" 
(2011). Middle-Secondary Education and Instructional Technology Dissertations. 
Paper 79.

2) Ruth Ann Goldfine. 2004. Computer Science Majors' Perception of the 
Overlapping Cognitive Structures between Computer Programming and English 
Composition. Ph.D. Dissertation. Georgia State University.

On Jan 6, 2012, at 3:35 PM, Hannah Wright wrote:

> Dear all
> Maria suggested that I approach you with this request for help with some 
> research I'm doing. Any thoughts or suggestions would be very much 
> appreciated.
> I'm a masters student at the Institute of Education, and for my dissertation 
> I would like to find out whether the regular use of computer programming 
> languages creates the same cognitive benefits associated with bilingualism.  
> I'm writing to you in the hope that you could recommend some relevant papers 
> that I should read - I've found lots of stuff on the cognitive effects of 
> computer programming from the 80s and early 90s, but not much after that, and 
> I'm wondering if the terminology has changed so I'm missing things, or if 
> it's just a topic that has fallen out of fashion.
> To explain a bit more, Ellen Bialystok and various colleagues (e.g. 
> http://cdp.sagepub.com/content/19/1/19.short) have recently researched the 
> way bilingualism affects cognitive performance over a lifetime. They have 
> found that bilinguals perform better in non-verbal tasks requiring conflict 
> resolution, such as Stroop and Simon tasks. They suggest that this is due to 
> executive control needed to switch between different languages. They did not 
> find these advantages in speech-sign bilinguals who can resolve the conflict 
> be producing both languages simultaneously. However, from what I've read 
> about the problems novices have with learning to programme, they often seem 
> to wrongly apply meaning and/or syntax from spoken languages when they're 
> programming, so maybe the conflict would exist here, leading to similar 
> structural changes which could be indicated through performance in Stroop and 
> Simon tasks. 
> Basically, I'm interested in finding any recent work on if/how computer 
> programming changes the structure and/or function of the brain. I'd be hugely 
> grateful of any suggestions of papers, books or even search terms that I 
> might not have thought of. 
> Thanks very much for your help.
> Hannah
> -- 
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