An interpreter advantage in executive functions? A systematic review

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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The aim of this systematic literature review was to answer the question of which executive function is most affected by interpreter training and experience. We used the 'unity and diversity' framework of executive functions to distinguish between three executive components: Response and Distractor Inhibition, Shifting, and Updating. Among the seventeen studies included in the review, we only found evidence for an interpreter advantage on Shifting and Updating, but with a different pattern for each of these. With regard to Updating, groups of interpreters scored better than comparison groups, but general trend in longitudinal studies did not show an improvement for interpreter trainees. In contrast, for Shifting, scores improved as a result of interpreting training. Our systematic review stresses the importance of understanding the diversity of executive processes when investigating the relationship between interpreting and cognitive performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-186
Number of pages24
JournalInterpreting: International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2020


  • Interpreting
  • Executive Function
  • Cognitive Control
  • Translation
  • Bilingualism


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