Multi-linguistic skills may help avoid pitfalls of mental agingMay 8th, 2008 - 12:51 pm ICT by admin
Washington, May 8 (ANI): Kids who speak a second or third language may have an unexpected advantage later in life, a new study has found.
According to Tel Aviv University researchers, knowing and speaking many languages may protect the brain against the effects of aging.
Dr. Gitit Kave, a clinical neuro-psychologist from the Herczeg Institute on Aging at Tel Aviv University, together with her colleagues Nitza Eyal, Aviva Shorek, and Jiska Cohen-Manfield, recently discovered that senior citizens who speak more languages test for better cognitive functioning.
However, Kave says that one should approach these findings with caution.
There is no sure-fire recipe for avoiding the pitfalls of mental aging. But using a second or third language may help prolong the good years, she said.
A person who speaks more languages is likely to be more clear-minded at an older age, she says, in effect exercising his or her brain more than those who are monolingual. Languages may create new links in the brain, contributing to this strengthening effect.
The research was based on a survey taken in 1989 on people between the ages of 75 and 95. Each person was asked how many languages he or she knew, what his or her mother tongue was, and which language he or she spoke best.
The researchers compared bilingual speakers to tri- and multilingual speakers.
Analyzing the results, the researchers found that the more languages a person spoke, the better his or her cognitive state was.
A persons level of education was also strongly associated with cognitive state, but the number of languages contributed to the prediction of cognitive fitness beyond the effect of education alone.
Although the easiest way to explain the findings was to point out the relationship between higher education and number of languages, this was not the whole story.
In fact, Dr. Kave says, We found that more languages were most significantly correlated with cognitive state in those people who had no education at all.”
Dr. Kave, however, adds a note when interpreting the statistics.
The study looked at the final result and not the cause, she said.
The study is published in the journal Psychology and Aging. (ANI)
- Speaking more than 2 languages may be good for your memory - Feb 23, 2011
- Bilingualism can delay onset of Alzheimer's symptoms by 5 yrs: Study - Nov 09, 2010
- Bilingualism can delay onset of Alzheimer's symptoms: Study - Nov 10, 2010
- Mole rat may hold key to human longevity - Jul 03, 2012
- For embarrassing memory lapses blame your neurons - Jul 29, 2010
- Staying active key to youthful brain: Study - Apr 29, 2012
- Childhood music lessons keep ageing brains sharper - Apr 21, 2011
- Soon, nasal spray vaccine to fight Alzheimer's, stroke - Mar 01, 2011
- 'Endurance exercises' can make us look younger - Dec 02, 2010
- Sports help cool aggression among boys - Jul 07, 2011
- Our brain keeps growing well into our 20s - Sep 23, 2011
- Being multilingual sharpens the brain - Feb 19, 2011
- Anxiety-ridden less sensitive to their environment - Dec 21, 2011
- Scary music sounds scarier when listeners shut eyes - Sep 16, 2009
- A quicker way of detecting hearing loss - Oct 07, 2011
Tags: aviva, bilingual speakers, brain, caution, cognitive functioning, cognitive state, colleagues, herczeg, higher education, languages, linguistic skills, mother tongue, multilingual, pitfalls, psychologist, relationship, senior citizens, tel aviv university, third language, university researchers