Research to Find Effects on Brain of Bilingualism
A project at Bangor University aims to explore the benefit of being bilingual.
There is evidence bilingualism can sharpen the brain.
Researchers will be recruiting 700 people aged between two and 80 to take part in the £750,000 programme.
Prof Virginia Gathercole said the obvious benefits included being able to converse and to participate in two cultures.
But she said there was also evidence of non-language benefits, such as the ability to protect the brain from ageing.
“The very act of being able to speak, listen, and think in two languages and of using two languages on a daily basis appears to sharpen people’s abilities to pay close attention to a aspects of tasks relevant to good performance,” she added.
“Running two parallel language systems throughout life has had positive benefits in a number of ways”
Prof Virginia Gathercole, Bangor University
Research carried out already had also shown having two languages helped protect against the decline in the brain’s abilities when ageing,” she added.
“We already know that language processing is one of the most complex activities that our brains carry out.
“Running two parallel language systems throughout life has had positive benefits in a number of ways,” she added.