Friday, July 19, 2024

New Study Suggests Lifelong Bilingualism Improves Cognitive Activity

A new study from The Journal of Neuroscience suggests that seniors who have been bilingual since childhood are faster at switching from one task to another than monolingual speakers.

The study finds that lifelong bilingual speakers show different patterns of brain activity when making the switch of tasks. As people age, the ability to adapt to unfamiliar or unexpected circumstances, called cognitive flexibility, declines. The research shows that lifelong bilingualism helps reduce the decline because of the experience of constantly switching between languages.

In another experiment that was conducted in the same study, it was concluded that bilingual older adults outperformed their monolingual peers while displaying decreased activation in their brain. It was determined that it was directly correlated with better task-switching performances.

As previously reported on La Plaza, a survey by the Pew Hispanic Center found that one in five children spoke a language other than English at their home, and that bilingual children tend to be better at multitasking than monolingual children.  The bilingual children were not only set to be more practical for real-world living, but also had improved cognitive skills that enhanced their brains.

“Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter,” says Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, Staff Writer at Science. “It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.”

Hispanically Speaking News