The idea of a bilingual advantage in aspects of cognitive control—including cognitive flexibility, inhibition, working memory, and attention—is disputed. Using a sample of kindergarten children, the present study investigated associations between bilingualism and cognitive flexibility—a relationship that has shown mixed findings in prior literature. We also extend prior work by exploring relationships between bilingualism and attentional fluctuations, which represent consistency in attentional control and contribute to cognitive performance. To our knowledge, no previous study has explored this association. Theoretically, attentional fluctuations might mediate or moderate the relationship between bilingualism and cognitive flexibility. However, given evidence of null findings from extant literature when confounding variables are adequately controlled and tasks are standardized, we did not expect to find a bilingual advantage in either cognitive flexibility or attentional fluctuations. Our results supported this hypothesis when considering bilingualism both continuously and categorically. The importance of expanding upon mechanistic accounts connecting bilingualism to cognitive improvements is discussed.
The aim of this study was to examine the association between lifestyle activities, including physical, cognitive, and social activities, and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) signature cortical thickness, as well as to examine the mediating role of AD signature cortical thickness in lifestyle activities and cognitive function in community-dwelling healthy older adults. Participants were 1026 older adults who met the study inclusion criteria. The physical, cognitive, and social activities of daily life were assessed using a self-reporting questionnaire. AD signature cortical thickness was determined using FreeSurfer software. Cognitive function was evaluated using the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology-Functional Assessment Tool. Path analysis (based on structural equation modeling (SEM)) of cognitive activities indicated that the direct path from cognitive activities to cognitive function was significant (p < 0.001), as was the direct path from AD signature cortical thickness to cognitive function (p < 0.001). Physical (p < 0.05) or social activities (p < 0.05) had a direct effect on cognitive function. However, AD signature cortical thickness did not mediate the relationship between physical or social activities and cognitive function. Our findings suggest that higher levels of cognitive activities later in life have a significant and positive direct effect on cognitive function. Additionally, AD signature cortical thickness significantly mediates the relationship between cognitive activities and cognitive function.