SUNDAY, JULY 11, 2004
THE TIMES OF INDIA
HEALTH/SCIENCE
POWERED BY
INDIATIMES
space

Search The Times of India Indiatimes Web
Indiatimes > The Times of India > Health/Science > Article
Home
CLASSIFIEDS
Matrimonial | Jobs
Real Estate | Auto
Post Print Ads
All Classifieds
HOT LINKS
ePaper
Bollywood
NRI News
Indo-Pak Ties
The BPO Wave
NEWS
Cities
City Supplements
India
Sports
Weather
World
Entertainment
India Business
Intl Business
Obituary
Top Media Headlines
Infotech
Health/Science
Photo Gallery
TOI Headlines
Most Read Articles
Best of the Week
Archives
OPINION
Columnists
Editorial
Interview
Letters to Editor
SUNDAY SPECIALS
All That Matters
Men & Women
Mind Over Matter
Open Space
Special Report
NRI SERVICES
India on Mobile
Remit2India
SUPPLEMENTS
Education Times
PRINT EDITION
Delhi Edition
DAILY DOSE
News Puzzle
Crosswords
Horoscope
Jokes
Newsletters
Send to friend
Speak two languages, stay young!Add to Clippings

REUTERS
[ TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 2004 02:58:29 AM ]

WASHINGTON : Two languages are better than one when it comes to keeping the brain young, Canadian researchers have reported.

 

Older adults who grew up bilingual had quicker minds when tested than people who spoke only one language, the researchers found. They showed less of the natural decline associated with aging.

 

The tests of people who grew up speaking English and either Tamil or French suggested that having to juggle two languages keeps the brain elastic and may help prevent some of the mental slowing caused by age, the researchers said on Monday.

 

Writing in the journal Psychology and Aging, Ellen Bialystok of York University in Canada and colleagues said they tested 104 monolingual and bilingual middle-aged adults aged 30 to 59 and 50 older adults aged 60 to 88.

 

They used a test called the Simon Task, which measures reaction time for cognitive tasks, such as recognizing on which part of a computer screen a colored square appears.

 

Both younger and older bilinguals were faster on the test, Bialystok reported.

 

"We compared groups of people who, as far as we could tell, are exactly the same," Bialystok said in a telephone interview.

 

"They have all had the same amount of education. They all scored exactly the same on cognitive tests. They all perform the same on memory tests. And they also score the same on tests in English vocabulary."

 

The difference was that half the people grew up with either French or Tamil spoken at home and English outside. They all spoke both languages every day from childhood.

 

People who were proficient in a second language acquired in school were not included in the study to keep the effects clear.

 

"It's not a facility. It's not a talent," Bialystok said. Rather it was a case of being forced from a young age to function in two languages.

 

Bialystok said her earlier study with children suggested these circumstances force a change in the way the brain processes information.

 

"In the monolingual group the differences between the younger adults and the older adults were in line with (the decline seen) in previous research," Bialystok said.

 

"In the older bilingual they slowed down significantly less, dramatically less."

 

Bialystok has not tested people who acquired languages later in life but believes learning new languages can only be good for the brain.

 

"Language is always good -- more language is always better," she said.



RATE THIS ARTICLE
12345
1=Poor,2=Mediocre,3=Average,4=Good,5=Outstanding

COMMENTS ON THIS ARTICLE
No comment has been posted for this article yet.
HEALTH/SCIENCE HEADLINES
Nine ways to live healthy and prevent cancer
Vera's anti-depressant gets FDA nod
Nursery school can turn kids into thugs
Herbal cigarettes to boost your health
A computer that says no to fights
Solar storms send shock waves
Seafood ain't healthy for adults!
A spray to boost the female libido
Watching TV can make you myopic
A fridge that needs no electricity
Stressed women binge on fatty foods
Aging and fertility gene discovered
Healthy lifestyle reduces cancer risk
Eating disorder hits older women too
Drink milk, keep colorectal cancer at bay
Bring up boys like girls, see difference
Are you lazy as a bee?
Women are 'fashion phobics'
World's tiniest vertebrate discovered
Vitamin use linked to asthma
House dust can prevent asthma in infants


TOP
About the Publisher | For reprint rights:Times Syndication Service
Copyright © 2004 Times Internet Limited. All rights reserved. | Advertise with Us | Careers @ TIL | Terms of Use | Feedback | Sitemap