Does being bilingual affect brain structure?

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Dylan Mc Laughlin

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Does being bilingual affect brain structure?
« on: 17/12/2008 20:49:14 »
Dylan Mc Laughlin asked the Naked Scientists:

Hello everyone.  I really enjoy the show, which is always very interesting and the hosts, who are always very charming.  

On the programme, I heard that the hippocampus of London cab drivers' brains experiences significant growth when they learn how to navigate virtually any route in the city.

My question is are similar effects produced when someone learns different languages and, if so, what changes occur in the structure of a person's brain when they learn a different language?

What do you think?


Offline taff

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Does being bilingual affect brain structure?
« Reply #1 on: 17/12/2008 21:12:49 »
I am interested in multiple intelligence learning and am convince d that using these ideas can have profound impact on brain function.
 the reason is that whilst searching for an answer the mind has to visit a large number of locations, Repeated use of these pathways seems to strengthen the nerve pathways and somehow the brain is stimulated.I learnt French in a matter of days using accelerated learning principles and boy did I have a head acke!
Scientists now believe that doing these brain exercises may slow down the onset of dementia.Taxi drivers are probably less likely to develop it Make contact for more info  Taff


Offline chris

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Does being bilingual affect brain structure?
« Reply #2 on: 17/12/2008 22:28:37 »
A researcher at University College London (UCL), Andrea Mechelli, investigated bilingualism and brain structure using volumetric brain scans. He found that people who spoke more than one language had more brain tissue (a thicker patch of cerebral cortex) in the region known to be linked to language function. This is the linguistic correlate of the hippocampal hypertrophy (enlargement) seen amongst the London taxi drivers, and probably reflects increased cell density and increased cell connectivity in this region stimulated by use of multiple languages.

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Offline Alandriel

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Does being bilingual affect brain structure?
« Reply #3 on: 19/12/2008 20:03:27 »

so.......with four plus languages....... my brain is denser even than a cabbies?

No wonder some ideas take so long to go through



Offline MonikaS

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Does being bilingual affect brain structure?
« Reply #4 on: 20/12/2008 08:48:47 »
Gives "thickheaded" a whole new meaning, huh?
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