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Learning a second language, at any age, leads to better cognitive abilities

HolaLearn­ing 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).

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Education & Lifelong Learning, Health & Wellness

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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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