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会外语的人大脑反应速度更快:双语新闻

2013年01月19日  所属:双语新闻  来源:中国日报网英语点津  作者:陈丹妮

美国肯塔基大学的研究人员发现,能讲两种语言可以抑制大脑衰老的速度,双语人士的大脑反应速度也比只会讲一种语言的人要更快一些。

美国肯塔基大学的研究人员发现,能讲两种语言可以抑制大脑衰老的速度,双语人士的大脑反应速度也比只会讲一种语言的人要更快一些。不过,研究人员指出,该研究发现只适用于那些从10岁起就开始使用第二语言的双语人士。阿拉巴马大学医学院的一位神经生物学家称双语现象是一个“美妙的自然试验”,人们在成长过程中不断切换使用两种语言能够使认知反应速度和能力得到提升。研究人员指出,儿童学习第二语言并不会阻碍母语能力的学习和发展,反而会有促进作用。

Speaking two languages can actually help offset some effects of aging on the brain, a new study has found.

Researchers tested how long it took participants to switch from one cognitive task to another, something that's known to take longer for older adults, said lead researcher, Brian Gold, a neuroscientist at the University of Kentucky.

"It has big implications these days because our population is aging more and more," Gold said. "Seniors are living longer, and that's a good thing, but it's only a good thing to the extent that their brains are healthy."

Gold's team compared task-switching speeds for younger and older adults, knowing they would find slower speeds in the older population because of previous studies. However, they found that older adults who spoke two languages were able to switch mental gears faster than those who didn't.

But don't go out and buy Rosetta Stone just yet. The study only looked at life-long bilinguals, defined in the study as people who had spoken a second language daily since they were at least 10 years old.

First, Gold and his team asked 30 people, who were either bilingual or monolingual, to look at a series of colored shapes and respond with the name of each shape by pushing a button. Then, they presented the participants with a similar series of colored shapes and asked them to respond with what colors the shapes were by pushing a button. Finally, researchers presented participants with a series of colored shapes, but they mixed prompts for either a shape or a color to test participants' task-switching times.

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