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Being Bilingual Enhances Executive Functions and Brain

Bilin­gual­ism Asso­ci­at­ed With Brain Reor­ga­ni­za­tion Involv­ing Bet­ter Effi­cien­cy in Exec­u­tive Func­tions, Research Finds (Sci­ence News)

Find­ings are very impor­tant because they show an unknown aspect of bilin­gual­ism, which goes beyond lin­guis­tic advan­tages, and they also show bilin­guals are more effec­tive in respond­ing to cer­tain stim­uli,” explains researcher Cesar Avi­la, who ensures the research shows that bilin­gual­ism does not only have effects on the brain at a lin­guis­tic lev­el, but that it also works dif­fer­ent­ly, empha­siz­ing the impor­tance of intro­duc­ing lan­guages at an ear­ly age because it gen­er­ates cog­ni­tive ben­e­fits.

Jour­nal Ref­er­ence: G. Garbin, A. San­juan, C. Forn, J.C. Bus­ta­mante, A. Rodriguez-Pujadas, V. Bel­loch, M. Her­nan­dez, A. Cos­ta, C. Ávi­la. Bridg­ing lan­guage and atten­tion: Brain basis of the impact of bilin­gual­ism on cog­ni­tive con­trol. Neu­roIm­age, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.05.078

This study sup­ports anoth­er one we com­ment­ed on a few years ago on how Bilin­gual brains stay sharp longer:

In short: learn­ing and speak­ing a for­eign lan­guage pro­vides con­stant brain exer­cise to the frontal lobes, the area of the brain right behind your fore­head that focus­es our atten­tion, helps us ignore dis­trac­tions, and make deci­sions.”

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2 Responses

  1. Matthew says:

    This arti­cle on the ben­e­fits of know­ing mul­ti­ple lan­guages real­ly is very inter­est­ing. Learn­ing a lan­guage is a great form of brain exer­cise. I have also read that women tend to pick up any lan­guage more eas­i­ly than men.

  2. Dason says:

    Of course it does, because bilin­guals who keep both of their known lan­guages at top notch have to be able to trans­late back and forth between one lan­guage and anoth­er. That, and they can read in both lan­guages which means they are able to under­stand the idioms and fea­tures each dialect has.

    Just some thoughts on why this should have been fair­ly obvi­ous. 😀

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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