In Every Language
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How many languages do you speak? Do you know that the languages you speak affect your brain function and memory ability?

Speaking More Than One Language May Slow The Aging Process In The Mind

Canadian scientists have found astonishing evidence that the lifelong use of two languages can help delay the onset of dementia symptoms by four years compared to people who are mono-lingual.

Another study conducted by Tel Aviv University found that a person who speaks more languages is likely to be more clear-minded at an older age and tests for better cognitive functioning.. Languages create new links in the brain, contributing to this strengthening effect.

The Study:

The research was based on a survey taken in 1989 on people between the ages of 75 and 95. Each person was asked how many languages he or she knew, what his or her mother tongue was, and which language he or she spoke best. The researchers compared bilingual speakers to tri- and multilingual speakers.

Findings:

  1. The more languages a person spoke, the better his or her cognitive state was.
  2. It was a question of speaking the words and was not related to educational degrees.

Distinct Areas In The Brain for the Different Languages?

A study carried out at the University of Haifa sheds light on how first and second languages are represented in the brain of a bilingual person. The study examined people with brain damage to see which languages were affected by the brain damage. The study found that that first and second languages are represented in different places in the brain.

Study:

The research studied a 41-year-old bilingual patient whose mother tongue is Arabic and who had fluent command of Hebrew as a second language. He suffered damage to the brain that was expressed in a language disorder (aphasia) that remained even after completing a course of rehabilitation. After rehabilitation, the patient’s language skills were put through various standardized tests that examined a range of levels in language skills in the two languages, alongside other cognitive tests. Most of the tests revealed that damage to the patient’s Hebrew skills were significantly more severe than the damage to his Arabic skills.

Ready to learn a new language? Not yet convinced? Here’s a fun video that should help you decide. Do watch!

And for those who want to know more, here’s an informative video that details how the brain processes language.

Courtesy: Science Bulletins: Language in the Brain

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