Bilinguals React Faster

The scientists from the Catalan Jaume I University have found that the people, who have been bilinguals from early childhood, can cope with solving mental problems more quickly and efficiently.

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The research team, led by Professor Cesar Rivera, conducted a series of experiments that involved two groups of student volunteers. The first group consisted of bilinguals – young people, who learned to speak two languages (Catalan and Spanish) at an early age. The second one included the students, who knew only Spanish. The participants of the experiment were asked to solve different tasks, and at the same time their brain activity was monitored with the help of functional magnetic resonance imaging.

The scientists have found that bilinguals use an area deep in the left side of the frontal brain lobes (it is called Broca’s area) to solve such tasks as sorting objects by shape or color. Meanwhile, common “monolinguals” used the right side of the brain when solving the same problems.

Previously, the scientists from the UK, Italy and Japan published a research in the PLoS ONE journal, arguing that the children, who were bilingual from an early age, found it easier to orient in a conversation and recognized rudeness, lies and redundant information better. In addition, some studies showed that bilingual children developed much faster than their peers, and even as adults, they retained a higher reaction rate.

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