Tag: brain

Learn a New Language to Boost Brain Activity

A new study, published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, shows that studying a new language boosts brain activity, which then reduces as language skills improve, so, if you want to keep your brain in top shape, the best advice is to keep adding to your linguistic repertoire. “In the first few months, you can quantitatively measure language-skill improvement by tracking...

Study Shows Brain’s Innate Capacity for Reading

The human brain is predisposed to visualizing words, even before individuals acquire literacy, according to a team of researchers at Ohio State University. Their paper, published in Scientific Reports, focuses on a region of the brain known as the visual word form area (VWFA), which is used in identifying words and letters. The researchers analyzed MRI scans on 40 newborns and...

Multilingual Matters

The Royal Academy of the Spanish Language which is one of the authorities regulating and preserving the changes that occur in the Spanish language, in the 22nd edition of its dictionary (2001), defines language as “System of verbal and, almost always, written communication that belongs to a specific human community.” Learning a new language can...

The Eyes Tell All

MIT study shows eye movements reveal linguistic fluency Tracing the eye movements of someone as they read in a second language may be able to create a more accurate assessment of their fluency that many traditional tests, according to researchers the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At last week’s North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics conference in New Orleans,...

Massive Study Confirms Teens’ Grammar Expertise

After years of research suggesting that the “critical period” to learn ends before the age of 10, an enormous new study of well over half a million learners suggests that children remain very skilled at learning the grammar of a new language much longer than expected—up to the age of 17 or 18. However, the study also found that...

Adult-Acquired Bilingualism Benefits the Aging Brain

New research reveals that bilingualism has a positive effect on cognition later in life. Findings published in Annals of Neurology, a journal of the American Neurological Association and Child Neurology Society, show that individuals who speak two or more languages, even those who acquired the second language in adulthood, may slow down cognitive decline from aging. Bilingualism is thought to...

Tonal Languages Use Both Sides of the Brain

Language learning and processing is usually dominated by the left side of the brain, which is adept at tasks that involve logic and analytical thinking. However, in a recent study that mapped brain information flow while processing intelligible speech in English and Mandarin Chinese, it was found that in Chinese speech comprehension there are neural dynamics between the left...

Tonal Languages Use Both Sides of the Brain

Language learning and processing is usually dominated by the left side of the brain, which is adept at tasks that involve logic and analytical thinking. However, in a recent study that mapped brain information flow while processing intelligible speech in English and Mandarin Chinese, it was found that in Chinese speech comprehension there are neural dynamics between the left...

Bilingualism Benefits the Brain at Any Age

Learning and actively using a second language, whether done from childhood or later in life, can not only improve language processing but benefit the brain in a more general sense. In a study published in January of 2015 entitled Effects of Bilingualism on the White Matter Structure of the Brain, it was found that active bilinguals (those who regularly...

Learning Languages Modifies Brain Network

According to a Sino-American study published recently in the Journal of Neurolinguistics, learning a new language changes your brain network both structurally and functionally. "Learning and practicing something, for instance a second language, strengthens the brain," said Ping Li, professor of psychology, linguistics, and information sciences and technology at Pennsylvania State University. "Like physical exercise, the more you use specific...
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