Six Interesting Facts About Your Brain and Language
Allison Bush | Jan 28, 2013
Learning another language helps your brain grow
In a recent study, researchers found through MRI that different parts of the brain developed to different degrees depending on how well the students performed in class and how much effort was required for them to keep up with the course. They found that students with greater growth in the hippocampus and areas of the cerebral cortex related to language learning had better language skills than the other students.
You will see the world differently, literally
Research suggests that bilingual speakers see color differently than those who use only one language To test this, researchers worked with both Japanese and English speakers and looked at their language use and proficiency, and matched this against how they perceived the color blue. They found that people who only spoke Japanese distinguished diffrences between light and dark blue than English speaker.
Bilingualism makes child’s brain stronger
Many people have the misconception that speaking two languages to a child learning to speak is confusing to him or her, and may actually hinder the child’s growth. Actually, the opposite is actually true - the brain is getting stronger because it’s always active. For a bilingual who speaks two languages fluently, the brain’s “executive control system” must work to keep the language that isn’t being spoken at the time separate.
Speaking several languages will keep your brain young
Research suggests that learning foreign languages can protect your brain from cognitive problems as you grow older - and the more languages you speak, the bigger the protective boost. Researchers discovered that those people who spoke four or more languages were five times less likely to develop cognitive problems compared to the bilinguals.
Your brain anatomy as an infant is a good indicator of future language skills
Researchers have found that the anatomy of the hippocampus and cerebellum can predict a child’s language ability at one year of age. Surprisingly, the researchers found that it wasn’t the language areas of the infants’ brain that predicted their future language skills, but rather the brain areas associated with motor abilities and memory processing.
Signing with babies does not accelerate language development
Researchers have found no evidence to support claims that using baby signing with babies helps to accelerate their language development. Lead researcher, Dr. Liz Kirk said, “Although babies learned the gestures and used them to communicate long before they started talking, they did not learn the associated words any quicker than the non-gesturing babies…”