Language is brain food
Thread poster: A Hayes
A Hayes
Local time: 07:15
Jun 15, 2004

from today's 'The Australian' - (linguistic) food for thought

Language is brain food
From The Times
June 15, 2004

LONDON: Learning to speak a second language does not just broaden the mind – it can also protect the brain against the ravages of age.

When bilingual people age, their brains decline much slower than those who are fluent only in their mother tongue, it was reported yesterday in the journal Psychology and Ageing.

The research was done in Toronto, Canada, where about 11 per cent of the population are bilingual.

Bilingual older people have faster reaction times than those who speak only one language and are less easily distracted while completing mental agility tasks. The findings add to growing evidence that taking part in activities that stretch the mind has a lasting effect on brain health.

Previous research has shown that hobbies as diverse as gardening, ballroom dancing, crossword puzzles and chess offer a measure of protection against Alzheimer's disease, dementia and other age-related cognitive decline.

These conditions are also less common among people with a high level of academic achievement.

The study found multiple languages significantly improve performance at an older age. Further experiments are planned to investigate whether learning a language to a level short of bilingual still protects against age-related cognitive decline.

[Edited at 2004-06-15 13:04]

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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:15
French to Spanish
+ ...
See too... Jun 15, 2004

...from yesterday, in the same way. We won't be rich, but we'll live longer!

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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:15
Italian to English
The older I get... Jun 15, 2004

... the more I want to believe these people!



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A Hayes
Local time: 07:15
poor & healthy Jun 16, 2004

better poor and healthy than rich and sick!



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Language is brain food

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