ISLAMABAD: Just as physical exercise helps you build your muscles, learning a new language could strengthen your brain, thereby making the process of ageing a lot more graceful, says a new research.
Learning a new language changes your brain network both structurally and functionally, the findings showed, Khaleej Times Reported.
“Learning and practicing something, for instance a second language, strengthens the brain,” said Ping Li, professor of psychology, linguistics and information sciences and technology at the Pennsylvania State University in the US.
“Like physical exercise, the more you use specific areas of your brain, the more it grows and gets stronger,” Li added.
The researchers studied 39 native English speakers’ brains over a six-week period. Half of the participants learnt Chinese vocabulary.
Of those learning the new vocabulary, those who were more successful in attaining the information showed a more connected brain network than both the less successful participants and those who did not learn the new vocabulary.
“A very interesting finding is that, contrary to previous studies, the brain is much more plastic than we thought,” Li said.
“We can still see anatomical changes in the brain (in the elderly), that is very encouraging news for the ageing. And learning a new language can help lead to more graceful ageing,” Li added.
The study was published in the Journal of Neurolinguistics.