Journal of Cultural Cognitive Science

, Volume 2, Issue 1–2, pp 45–57 | Cite as

Culture cues facilitate object naming in both native and second language: evidence from Bodo–Assamese bilinguals

  • Bidisha SomEmail author
  • Rekha Kalita
  • Ramesh kumar Mishra
Research Paper


We examined if iconic cultural images that are related to a bicultural bilingual’s native and second language modulate lexical access during object naming. Bodo–Assamese bilinguals named line drawings preceded by a picture belonging to one of the cultures (Bodo or Assamese). Speakers named in blocks in which the cultural image was congruent, incongruent or neutral with the language used for naming. The cultural images were, however, irrelevant to the main task. Results showed that cultural images facilitated naming in both languages compared to neutral images. There was no difference in the extent of facilitation between the languages. Our findings suggest that iconic cultural images boost lexical access in both languages of bilinguals and facilitate naming.


Bilingualism Naming Cultural image Facilitation Bicultural bilinguals 



The current research work was carried out with funding from Department of Science and Technology Grant [Government of India] awarded to Bidisha Som [grant no: SR/CSI/86/2012].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


  1. Abutalebi, J., & Green, D. (2007). Bilingual language production: The neurocognition of language representation and control. Journal of Neurolinguistics., 20(3), 242–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bhatia, D., Prasad, S. G., Sake, K., Mishra, R. K., Schiller, N. O. (2017). Task irrelevant external cues can influence language selection in voluntary object naming: evidence from hindi-english bilinguals. PLOS One, 12(1), e0169284.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Bialystok, E., & Martin, M. M. (2004). Attention and inhibition in bilingual children: Evidence from the dimensional change card sort task. Developmental Science., 7(3), 325–339.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bialystok, E., et al. (2008). Cognitive control and lexical access in younger and older bilinguals. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 34(4), 859.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Costa, A., & Sebastián-Gallés, N. (2014). How does the bilingual experience sculpt the brain? Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 15(5), 336–345.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Forster, K. I., Forster, J. C. (2003). DMDX: A Windows display program with millisecond accuracy. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 35(1), 116–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Friesen, D. C., & Jared, D. (2012). Cross-language phonological activation of meaning: Evidence from category verification. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 15(01), 145–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gollan, T., Cera, C., Ferreira, V. C., & Flett, S. (2014). Translation-priming effects on tip-of the-tongue states. Language and Cognitive Processes, 29(3), 278–288.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Green, D. W. (1998). Mental control of the bilingual lexico-semantic system. Bilingualism: Language and cognition, 1(02), 67–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Green, D. W., & Abutalebi, J. (2013). Language control in bilinguals: The adaptive control hypothesis. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 25(5), 515–530.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Grosjean, F. (2014). Bicultural bilinguals. International Journal of Bilingualism, 1367006914526297.Google Scholar
  12. Hartsuiker, R. J. (2015). Visual cues for language selection in bilinguals. Attention and vision in language processing (pp. 129–145). Berlin: Springer India.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hoshino, N., & Kroll, J. F. (2008). Cognate effects in picture naming: Does cross-language activation survive a change of script? Cognition, 106(1), 501–511.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Jared, D., & Kroll, J. F. (2001). Do bilinguals activate phonological representations in one or both of their languages when naming words? Journal of Memory and Language, 44(1), 2–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jared, D., Poh, R. P. Y., & Paivio, A. (2013). L1 and L2 picture naming in Mandarin-English bilinguals: A test of bilingual dual coding theory. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16(02), 383–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Khare, V., et al. (2013). Bilingualism and the increased attentional blink effect: Evidence that the difference between bilinguals and monolinguals generalizes to different levels of second language proficiency. Psychological Research, 77, 728–737.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Kroll, J. F., & McClain, R. (2013). What bilinguals tell us about culture, cognition, and language. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(28), 11219–11220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Li, Y., Yang, J., Scherf, K. S., & Li, P. (2013). Two faces, two languages: An fMRI study of bilingual picture naming. Brain and Language, 127(3), 452–462.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Marian, V., & Kaushanskaya, M. (2004). Self-construal and emotion in bicultural bilinguals. Journal of Memory and Language, 51(2), 190–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mishra, R. K., Hilchey, M. D., Singh, N., Klein, R. M. (2012). On the time course of exogenous cueing effects in bilinguals: higher proficiency in a second language is associated with more rapid endogenous disengagement. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65(8), 1502–1510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mishra, R. K. (2018). Bilingualism and Cognitive Control. Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mohanty, A. K. (2006). Multilingualism of the unequals and predicaments of education in India: Mother tongue or other tongue. Imagining multilingual schools. 262–283.Google Scholar
  23. Pickering, M. J., & Garrod, S. (2004). Toward a mechanistic psychology of dialogue. Behavioral and brain sciences, 27(02), 169–190.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Protopapas, A. (2007). Check Vocal: A program to facilitate checking the accuracy and response time of vocal responses from DMDX. Behavior Research Methods, 39(4), 859–862.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Roychoudhuri, K. S., Prasad, S. G., & Mishra, R. K. (2016). Iconic native culture Cues inhibit second language production in a non-immigrant population: Evidence from Bengali-English Bilinguals. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1516.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  26. Saint-Aubin, Jean, Hilchey, Matthew, Mishra, Ramesh, Singh, Niharika, Savoie, Dominique, Guitard, Dominic, et al. (2018). Does the relation between the control of attention and second language proficiency generalize from India to Canada? Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 72, 10.Google Scholar
  27. Singh, N., & Mishra, R. K. (2012). Does language proficiency modulate oculomotor control? Evidence from Hindi-English bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 15, 771–781.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Singh, N., & Mishra, R. K. (2013). Second language proficiency modulates conflict-monitoring in an oculomotor Stroop task: evidence from Hindi-English bilinguals. Frontiers in Psychology., 4, 322.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. Sunderman, G. L., & Priya, K. (2012). Translation recognition in highly proficient Hindi, English bilinguals: The influence of different scripts but connectable phonologies. Language and Cognitive Processes., 27(9), 1265–1285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Woumans, E., Martin, C. D., Bulcke, C. V., Van Assche, E., Costa, A., Hartsuiker, R. J., et al. (2015). Can faces prime a language? Psychological Science, 26(9), 1343–1352.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Yang, S., & Yang, H. (2013). Does bilingual fluency moderate the disruption effect of cultural cues on second-language processing? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110, E4403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zhang, S., Morris, M. W., Cheng, C. Y., & Yap, A. J. (2013). Heritage-culture images disrupt immigrants’ second-language processing through triggering first-language interference. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(28), 11272–11277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Technology GuwahatiGuwahatiIndia
  2. 2.North Eastern Regional Institute of ManagementGuwahatiIndia
  3. 3.Centre for Neural and Cognitive SciencesUniversity of HyderabadHyderabadIndia

Personalised recommendations