Within the vast bilingual population, simultaneous interpreters (SIs) stand out by the elevated processing demands they face in professional settings. The need to comprehend oral discourse in one language and render it in another as it unfolds, under strict time constraints, pushes verbal and non-verbal mechanisms to their limits. Therefore, SIs offer a unique model to assess how capable the bilingual brain is for experience-driven changes under stringent circumstances. In this conference, I will review multiple studies to answer three relevant, overarching questions: (a) how do the neurobiological systems mediating bilingual cognition adapt to the extreme demands faced by SIs?; (b) which of the associated verbal and non-verbal functions evince behavioral enhancements in this population?; and (c) what are the immediate challenges in this flourishing research field? In brief, this is an invitation to understand how extreme bilingual experiences influence cognition at large and, more generally, how the human mind adapts to the particular demands we may place on it. [Go to the full record in the library's catalogue]
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