Aprender idiomas faz o cérebro crescer

img_0102-2Você sabia disso!

Um recente estudo de uma universidade sueca descobriu que partes do cérebro de estudantes de idiomas desenvolveu e aumentou em tamanho enquanto que o dos alunos regulares, não!

Leia a matéria completa abaixo.

Language learning makes the brain grow

Have you ever thought that learning new languages would help develop your brain?

A recent study at Lund University in Sweden investigated the effect on the brains of students who were learning a new language intensively compared to other students who were studying intensively, but not languages. Remarkably, they discovered that parts of the language learners’ brains had increased in size, while this was not the case for the non-language learning group.

At the Swedish Armed Forces Interpreter Academy in the city of Uppsala, young people with a flair for languages go from having no knowledge of a language such as Arabic, Russian or Dari to speaking it fluently in the space of 13 months. From morning to evening, weekdays and weekends, the recruits study at a pace unlike on any other language course.

Young recruits learn a new language at a very fast pace. By measuring their brains before and after the language training, a group of researchers have had an almost unique opportunity to observe what happens to the brain when we learn a new language in a short period of time.

As a control group, the researchers used medicine and cognitive science students at Umea University – students who also study hard, but not languages. Both groups were given MRI scans before and after a three-month period of intensive study. While the brain structure of the control group remained unchanged, specific parts of the brain of the language students grew. The parts that developed in size were the hippocampus, a deep-lying brain structure that is involved in learning new material and spatial navigation, and three areas in the cerebral cortex.

“We were surprised that different parts of the brain developed to different degrees depending on how well the students performed and how much effort they had had to put in to keep up with the course”, says Johan Martensson, a researcher in psychology at Lund University, Sweden.

Students with greater growth in the hippocampus had better language skills than the other students. In students who had to put more effort into their learning, greater growth was seen in an area of the motor region of the cerebral cortex. The areas of the brain in which the changes take place are linked to how easy it is to learn a new language. The development varies according to individual performance.

Previous research from other groups has indicated that Alzheimer’s disease has a later onset in bilingual or multilingual groups.

“Even if we cannot compare three months of intensive language study with a lifetime of being bilingual, there is a lot to suggest that learning languages is a good way to keep the brain in shape”, says Johan Martensson.

Source: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/top-stories/language-learning-makes-your-brain-grow

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