Juggling Languages Can Build Better Brains

Topics: Human, Language, Chimpanzee Pages: 3 (1161 words) Published: May 6, 2013
Does language ‘Juggling’ build better brains? Being able to multi-task is more difficult for some than others, but for those who speak a second language may find it easier than most. Negotiating between two different languages, known as mental ‘juggling’, is said to be an essential key to keeping a sharp and youthful mind. But the benefits, towards being able to ‘Juggle’ between dialects and languages, was a controversial issue. Previously, some scientists concluded that the more languages a person can speak, the more confusing it is to switch between them. The purpose of the study was to determine if knowing more than 1 language strengthens or impairs a person’s thoughts. By tracking the brains of single language speaking people to multi-language speaking people, scientists revealed that individuals who are bilingual (speak 2 or more languages) surpass those who are monolingual (speak 1 language) at perspective-taking tasks, such as prioritizing, and multi-tasking. Participants ranged from Single to multi-language speaking subjects of many ages. Researchers started by studying bilingual and monolingual children as they grew up. As the subjects grew, they did tests while tracking the parts of the brain responsible for thought with an MRI and electroencephalographs. Further experiments involved tracking the eye movements of bilingual and monolingual subjects while they read to compare the comprehension levels between the multi-language speakers and single language speakers. These experiments proved useful as it helped change the whole thought that knowing multiple languages actually doesn’t hinder thought, and instead keeps the mind keen and attentive. They used three types of research methods in their studies. They gathered information that was used to reveal the benefits of speaking more than a one language over a single life time. It took years of experimentation to finish, and demanded a lot of attention and time. So a Longitudinal study (A study taken...
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