Dear Hannah,

the thesis is very interesting. Did you find any relevant papers so far?

Would love to hear about it.



-------- Original-Nachricht --------
> Datum: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 15:43:43 +0000 (GMT)
> Von: hannah wright <>
> An: "" <>
> Betreff: Computer programmers vs bilinguals: shared cognitive benefits?

> Dear all
> Maria suggested that I approach you with this request for help with some
> research I'm doing. Any thoughts or suggestions that you could offer 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. 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
> -- 
> The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an
> exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC
> 038302).

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