Abstract

Objective: To determine if, and to what extent, executive functions are expressed differently on a standardized, non-verbal task in monolingual populations. Method: The Boston Rey-O (BQSS) was administered to two groups of 18–20 year old monolingual students: one tested in Northern California; the other in Central Chile. Subjects were matched for age, education, gender, SES, and educational level. Subjects were also matched on linguistic facility on the Spanish and English COWAT. Exclusions were made for psychological issues on the SCL90-R and hx of severe illness, TBI, or drug/alcohol abuse. T-scores from the six indices of the BQSS were compared using Mann-Whitney U. Results: Twenty-one Chilean (13 M, 8 F) and eighteen American (9M, 9F) students meet all of the criteria. The Chilean students performed more poorly on three of the BQSS indices: Copy Presence & Accuracy = U(18, 21) = 109; p = .012, Immediate Presence & Accuracy = U(18, 20) = 118; p = .023, and Delayed Presence & Accuracy = U(18, 21) = 114; p = .017. 95% confidence intervals were used. Conclusion(s): Unlike most other culture-based studies that focus on ESL, or ethnic groups within the US (e.g., Hispanic-Americans) this study was conducted in situ with purely monolingual subjects. The Chileans paid less attention to the overall gestalt, presence, and accuracy of details on the Rey-O. Since all other variables were matched, the impact of linguistic relativism, on even non-verbal neuropsychological tests, needs to be considered further.