If You Want Your Brain To Function And Age Better – Learn Another Language

May 17, 2017


If you are bilingual we have some great news for you and your brain! It appears that scientists have found a strong link between learning/knowing another language and having a healthy brain.

Namely, people who speak two or more languages fluently (or are merely in the process of learning another language) have a certain edge when it comes to how quick their brains function. This advantage mirrors in using “less brain power to accomplish tasks, helping their brains to age better.”

The research compared functional brain connections between monolingual and bilingual elderly people and found that brains of those who spoke two languages were actually more efficient when it comes to processing information.

To put it simply, bilinguals utilize fewer brain resources for certain tasks in comparison to those who speak only their mother tongue.

Bilinguals Use Their Brain More Economically, Study Says

The study conducted by Canadian researchers was led by Professor Ana Inés Ansaldo from the Université de Montréal, and the experiment focused on a performance of “interference control tasks” by the two above mentioned groups of seniors.

The researchers found that the brains of bilinguals used “less circuitry,” while monolingual brains had to fire up more cylinders (brain regions) to perform the same task.

Here’s what Professor Ansaldo had to say:

“After years of daily practice managing interference between two languages, bilinguals become experts at selecting relevant information and ignoring information that can distract from a task. In this case, bilinguals showed higher connectivity between visual processing areas located at the back of the brain,” Dr. Ansaldo explained and continued:

“This area is specialized in detecting the visual characteristics of objects and therefore is specialized in the task used in this study. These data indicate that the bilingual brain is more efficient and economical, as it recruits fewer regions and only specialized regions.”

So there you go guys – if you want your brain to stay sharp as your body grows old, make sure you learn at least one more language while it is not too late!