Executive advantage of bilingualism: real or exaggerated claim?

Chair: Sergio Della Sala

Professor of Human Cognitive Neuroscience,
University of Edinburgh, UK


“Pro” Champion

Esli Struys

PhD, Assistant Professor of linguistics
Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, Belgium

Esli Struys is an associate professor in multilingualism at the department of Linguistics and Literary Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He is affiliated to the Brussels Center for Language Studies and the PI of the research strand ‘Multilingualism, cognition & the brain’ within the Center for Neurosciences (C4N). In 2016 and 2017, he was a guest professor at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics where he conducted psycho- and neurolinguistic research in the lab of Niels Schiller. Currently, his teaching duties include the responsibility over courses on psycho- and neurolinguistics, multilingualism and cognition, multilingual education, second language acquisition, and interpreting studies. His research duties include the (co-)supervision of 10 PhD students in the field of multilingualism, related to the courses he teaches. He has been a (co-)author of over 30 publications in leading international peer-reviewed journals such as Brain Research, Bilingualism : Language and Cognition, and Language Learning.

“Against” Champion


Angela de Bruin

PhD, Lecturer
Department of Psychology, University of York, UK

Dr Angela de Bruin is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor equivalent) in the Department of Psychology at the University of York, United Kingdom. Her research interests include bilingualism, language production, cognitive ageing, and executive control. She completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh (2013-2016), where she examined the relationship between bilingualism and executive functioning in younger and older adults. She then continued her research on bilingualism and ageing at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (San Sebastián, Spain, 2016-2019) as a postdoctoral researcher and Marie Curie fellow. Currently, Dr de Bruin’s research at the University of York focuses on bilingual language control across the lifespan. She studies the cognitive and neural mechanisms used when bilinguals control interference between their languages and switch languages. Her current ESRC-funded project examines how these different types of language control are shaped by the language environment bilinguals live in.
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