The Other Side of Cognitive Control: Can a Lack of Cognitive Control Benefit Language and Cognition?
Article first published online: 17 MAR 2011
Copyright © 2011 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Topics in Cognitive Science
Volume 3, Issue 2, pages 253–256, April 2011
How to Cite
Chrysikou, E. G., Novick, J. M., Trueswell, J. C. and Thompson-Schill, S. L. (2011), The Other Side of Cognitive Control: Can a Lack of Cognitive Control Benefit Language and Cognition?. Topics in Cognitive Science, 3: 253–256. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2011.01137.x
- Issue published online: 6 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 17 MAR 2011
- Received 2 June 2010; received in revised form 24 September 2010; accepted 29 January 2011
- Cognitive control;
- Prefrontal cortex;
- Language comprehension;
- Language learning;
- Cognitive flexibility
Cognitive control refers to the regulation of mental activity to support flexible cognition across different domains. Cragg and Nation (2010) propose that the development of cognitive control in children parallels the development of language abilities, particularly inner speech. We suggest that children’s late development of cognitive control also mirrors their limited ability to revise misinterpretations of sentence meaning. Moreover, we argue that for certain tasks, a tradeoff between bottom-up (data-driven) and top-down (rule-based) thinking may actually benefit performance in both children and adults. Specifically, we propose that a lack of cognitive control may promote important aspects of cognitive development, like language acquisition and creativity.