In the field of cognitive neuroscience, understanding the functional, temporal, and anatomical characteristics of multilingual speech processing has previously been a topic of intense investigations. In this article, I will attempt to describe how the investigation of simultaneous interpreters can be used as a fruitful and alternative approach for better comprehending the neuronal signature of multilingual speech processing, foreign language acquisition, as well as the functional and structural adaptivity of the human brain in general.
Thereby, I will primarily focus on the commonalities underlying different degrees of speech competence rather than on the differences. In this context, particular emphasis will be placed on the contribution of extra-linguistic brain functions which are necessary for accommodating cognitive and motor control mechanisms in the multilingual brain. Certainly, the framework outlined in this article will not replace the meanwhile established psycholinguistic or neuroscientific models of speech processing, but only attempts to provide a novel
and alternative perspective.