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13 October 2004

Learning languages 'boosts brain'

Learning a second language 'boosts' brain-power, scientists believe.

Researchers from University College London studied the brains of 105 people - 80 of whom were bilingual. They found learning other languages altered grey matter - the area of the brain which processes information - in the same way exercise builds muscles. People who learned a second language at a younger age were also more likely to have more advanced grey matter than those who learned later, the team said. Scientists already know the brain has the ability to change its structure as a result of stimulation - an effect known as plasticity - but this research demonstrates how learning languages develops it.


So, the moral of the story is, Teach your children a second language and if there is time, a third and a fourth!

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