Knowledge of several languages definitely affects the brain, but how?
Most people can speak only one language, which they learned in childhood due to the environment of parents and other relatives. But in the world there are people who speak several languages. Some of them learn two languages due to the fact that the mother was born in one point of the planet, and the father in the other. The rest of the new knowledge imparted in school, University and other educational institutions. It would be logical to assume that the knowledge of several languages is somehow reflected in the brain. But in science taken from the air of special assumptions do not enjoy the respect, so the need for proven facts. Finding evidence that knowledge of multiple languages affects the brain, scientists are not the first decade. Recently, another group of scientists conducted an experiment during which found that knowing many languages people are slow on the uptake. But this does not mean that they are stupid.
The scientific Results were published in science . The study involved 35 volunteers, including 17 people fluent in English and Spanish, and the remaining 18 only knew English. They all were placed in the apparatus of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which can track blood flow to specific areas of the brain. If in one or more areas of accumulated blood, so at the moment they are active.
About scanning the brain using fMRI
During a brain scan, the participants heard different words and saw the set of four images. The sketches were made the object, and items with consonant names. For example, from the speakers sounded the word "cloud" (cloud) and the pictures were shown a cloud, the clown (cloud and clown are very close in sound) and other similar objects. Before the subjects were tasked to show the object, the name of which came from the speakers.
In the course of monitoring participants, researchers noticed that native speakers of two languages make a choice much longer than the others. However, this does not mean that they are stupid — the fact that knowledge of several languages designed to hold in the mind two or more "dictionaries". So, hearing one word, multilingual people were thinking about more words and correlated them with the rendered images. That is why the passage of the test they took a little more time. And the speakers of one language was easier — they heard the word "clown" and without hesitation chose the appropriate picture.
Generally, people who are proficient in two languages is called a bilingual. As a rule, they learn the skill of bilingualism in two ways: natural and artificial. The natural acquisition of bilingualism, the person is forced to learn two languages because of circumstances — for example, if his parents are representatives of two different Nations. In artificial learning person consciously learns a skill by attending special courses or even moving to another country to study another culture.
Some people move to other countries with the goal of learning a new language
In the course of numerous studies, scientists still argued the merits of bilingual users over people who only speak one language. First, for the most part, the bilingual users have more developed mental abilities — supporting the activity of the two languages, they develop the ability to concentrate on two things at the same time. Second, the bilingual users have a developed imagination, as evidenced by the fact that many of the artists are bilingual. Thirdly, all these people can have more friends because they openly communicate with representatives of several Nations.
One of the most famous bilinguals of the present is Facebook founder mark Zuckerberg — he is fluent in English and Chinese
The disadvantages of bilingualism can be attributed except that time when kids from mixed families start talking later. And it is understandable because they hear more new words you need to memorize and learn to use properly. Thus, at first, many of the children speak a mixture of the two languages but, with the help of parents, the separation has been going for 3-4 years.
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Read More about how the brains of people previously wrote my colleague Love Sokovikova. I especially liked the part about a man named Emil Krebs, who claimed to be able to speak 68 languages. Recommended reading!
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