There are two basic questions regarding brain processing of bilingualism (Hernandez, Martinez, & Kohnert 2000). One is about whether spatially overlapped or segregated neural substrates sub-serve two reciprocal languages, and the other one pertains to the functional areas or networks responsible for language switching, which is a key aspect of language control in bilingual individuals. Studies that use late bilinguals to address the neural representation of language switching are abundant. A variety of regions, including the left inferior
frontal region (Lehtonen et al., 2005, Price et al., 1999 and Abutalebi and Green, 2008), bilateral Enzalutamide solubility dmso supramarginal gyri (Price et al., 1999), the left caudate (Crinion et al., 2006, Abutalebi Atezolizumab & Green, 2007), the left anterior cingulate cortex (Wang, Xue, Chen, Xue, & Dong, 2007; Abutalebi & Green, 2008), and subcortical structures (Lehtonen et al., 2005 and Price
et al., 1999), have been observed to be involved in language switching tasks. The studies also suggested that there were no single region responsible for language switching and that the direction of language switching was asymmetric. In contrast, the number of studies targeting proficient early bilinguals is relatively limited, and the results are inconclusive. From experiments involving early bilinguals, the involvement of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Hernandez et al., 2000), the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Hernandez, Dapretto, Mazziotta, & Bookheimer, 2001), the left prefrontal and lateral temporal regions (Kim, Relkin, Lee & Hirsch, 1997; Chee, Soon, & Lee, 2003) have been observed. These findings suggest that different languages are represented in overlapping areas
of the brain for early Calpain bilinguals. Both the neural basis of language switching and the proposed cognitive models of bilingualism remain controversial: the language-specific model (Costa, Santesteban, & Ivanova, 2006) is contrasted with the Inhibitory Control (IC) model (Green, 1986 and Green, 1998). The first one assumes that only the target language is activated, whereas the second one assumes that the selection of lemmas in one language is only achieved after the successful inhibition of the lemmas of the other. According to the IC model, the amount of inhibition would depend on two factors: the activation level of the words that need to be suppressed, and the speaker’s proficiency level in the non-response language (Costa and Santesteban, 2004, Green, 1986 and Green, 1998). It is also noteworthy that recently, a new model of cognitive processes and neural foundations of language switching has been proposed (Duffau, 2008 and Moritz-Gassera and Duffau, 2009).