Language learning strengthens brain

Learning a language gives a visible boost to brain function, scientists found

17 November 2014

LANGUAGE learning strengthens the brain and helps you to keep mentally alert into old age, a study shows.

Research published in the Journal of Neurolinguistics has given new evidence, backing up previous studies that also showed benefits.

The study involved giving a group of English speakers language lessons over a six-week period and taking MRI images of their brains afterwards.

The study found an improvement in the quality of the connections between different parts of the brain.

The study’s main author, Dr Ping Li, said this showed the brain was more malleable than previously thought and it can strengthen with the right use, at any age.

“We noted anatomical changes of the brain in elderly people, which is very encouraging because it means learning a language can also help you to age well.”

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Photo: Siemens

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