A recent research conducted by the scientists at Lund University reveals that certain areas of the brain are rapidly developed by learning a new language. The researchers studied the brains of medicine, science and language students and compared them to each other. The study lasted for over three months and the final results show that the brains of the medicine and science students were unchanged while certain areas of the brains of the language students had grown.
The study involved recruits studying at the FMUndSakC (Swedish Armed Forces Interpreter Academy at the Armed Forces Intelligence and Security Centre) who usually learn new languages in a period of one year. The recruits study the language every day and attend evening and weekend glasses to reach a more fluent standard. The researchers at the Lund University compared the brains of those recruits with students who study science and medicine. Their brains were scanned multiple times in a period of 3 months and during this time, the recruits who studied a new language intensively marked a rapid development of the cerebral cortices and hippocampuses parts of the brain.
The study focused on the cortical and hippocampal growth and it seems like the researchers have proven their point. While these areas of the brain stayed pretty much the same among science and medicine students, the areas had grown in the brains of language students. This study and those before it have also revealed an interesting fact regarding the Alzheimer’s disease. Apparently, this disease is delayed in people who know two or more languages.
Johan Mårtensson says: “The goal of this study was to prove that language studying can strengthen the brain and improve its functionality. All participants were young, healthy and worked hard in their areas. We are planning to develop the study and find out if we can help elderly people avoid Alzheimer’s disease and other brain problems which are common for old people.