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.”


  1. Matthew on July 13, 2010 at 5:43

    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 on July 19, 2010 at 11:52

    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. :D

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SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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