Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Being bilingual wards off symptoms of dementia

Date:
March 29, 2012
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
New research explains how speaking more than one language may translate to better mental health. Scientists examine how being bilingual can offer protection from the symptoms of dementia, and also suggests that the increasing diversity in our world populations may have an unexpected positive impact on the resiliency of the adult brain.

New research explains how speaking more than one language may translate to better mental health. A paper published by Cell Press in the March 29th issue of the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences examines how being bilingual can offer protection from the symptoms of dementia, and also suggests that the increasing diversity in our world populations may have an unexpected positive impact on the resiliency of the adult brain.

"Previous studies have established that bilingualism has a beneficial effect on cognitive development in children," explains lead study author, Dr. Ellen Bialystok from York University. "In our paper, we reviewed recent studies using both behavioral and neuroimaging methods to examine the effects of bilingualism on cognition in adults."

Dr. Bialystok and colleagues discuss the intriguing finding that the need to monitor two languages in order to select the appropriate one recruits brain regions that are critical for general attention and cognitive control. Using these cognitive control networks for bilingual language processing may reconfigure and strengthen them, perhaps enhancing "mental flexibility," the ability to adapt to ongoing changes and process information efficiently.

Studies also suggest that bilingualism improves "cognitive reserve," the protective effect that stimulating mental or physical activity has on cognitive functioning in healthy aging. Cognitive reserve can also postpone the onset of symptoms in those suffering from dementia. This is supported by studies showing that bilinguals experience onset symptoms of dementia years later than monolinguals.

"Our conclusion is that lifelong experience in managing attention to two languages reorganizes specific brain networks, creating a more effective basis for executive control and sustaining better cognitive performance throughout the lifespan," says Dr. Bialystok. "It should not be surprising that intense and sustained experience leaves its mark on our minds and brains, and it is now clear that the bilingual brain has been uniquely shaped by experience."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ellen Bialystok, Fergus I.M. Craik, Gigi Luk. Bilingualism: consequences for mind and brain. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2012; 16 (4): 240 DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2012.03.001

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Being bilingual wards off symptoms of dementia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120329124603.htm>.
Cell Press. (2012, March 29). Being bilingual wards off symptoms of dementia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120329124603.htm
Cell Press. "Being bilingual wards off symptoms of dementia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120329124603.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain Surgery in 3-D

Brain Surgery in 3-D

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Neurosurgeons now have a new approach to brain surgery using the same 3D glasses you’d put on at an IMAX movie theater. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins