Learning second language ‘slows brain ageing’ (BBC):
“Learning a second language can have a positive effect on the brain, even if it is taken up in adulthood, a University of Edinburgh study suggests…Using data from intelligence tests on 262 Edinburgh-born individuals at the age of 11, the study looked at how their cognitive abilities had changed when they were tested again in their seventies…195 learned the second language before the age of 18, and 65 learned it after that time.
The findings indicate that those who spoke two or more languages had significantly better cognitive abilities compared to what would have been expected from their baseline test…Dr Bak said the pattern they found was “meaningful” and the improvements in attention, focus and fluency could not be explained by original intelligence.”
Study: “Does Bilingualism Influence Cognitive Aging?” Thomas H Bak, Jack J Nissan, Michael M Allerhand and Ian J Deary. Annals of Neurology; Published Online: June 2, 2014 (DOI:10.1002/ana.24158).