Inhibitory Control Predicts Grammatical Ability

2015-12-17T08:09:38Z (GMT) by Paul Ibbotson Jennifer Kearvell-White
<div><p>We present evidence that individual variation in grammatical ability can be predicted by individual variation in inhibitory control. We tested 81 5-year-olds using two classic tests from linguistics and psychology (Past Tense and the Stroop). Inhibitory control was a better predicator of grammatical ability than either vocabulary or age. Our explanation is that giving the correct response in both tests requires using a common cognitive capacity to inhibit unwanted competition. The implications are that understanding the developmental trajectory of language acquisition can benefit from integrating the developmental trajectory of non-linguistic faculties, such as executive control.</p></div>