Swedish Study Suggests Language Learning Promotes Brain Growth

Arts and Humanities

Swedish Study Suggests Language Learning Promotes Brain Growth

Oct 10, 2012

SWEDISH SAGACITY: Language learning makes you smarter -- or at least it makes your brain grow. That’s the word in a new study from the Swedish Armed Forces Interpreter Academy. The brain structures of students who learned several languages over an intensive 13- month training period were compared to a control group of medical and psychology students from a nearby university. While brain structures remained unchanged for the control group, MRIs revealed different degrees of brain area growth for language-learning students: “Students with greater growth in the hippocampus and areas of the cerebral cortex related to language learning (superior temporal gyrus) had better language skills than the other students.” Science Daily reports that “research from other groups has indicated that Alzheimer's disease has a later onset in bilingual or multilingual groups” -- doubling down on the notion that language learning makes your brain sharper.

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