Researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Houston have conducted a research, which shows that bilingual people are capable of processing information much faster. The study additionally shows that multi-lingual speakers are considerably better at filtering unnecessary information than single language speakers. According to the study, the brain function of single language speakers suggests that they had to work much harder in order to complete same mental assignments.
The study prepared by Vioric Mariana, Sarah Chabal, James Bartolotti, Kailyn Bradley and Arturo Hernandez, evaluated 17 Spanish-English bilinguals and 18 monolinguals. The ability of their brain to filter and eliminate irrelevant words where performed. The study which was published in Brain and Language journal used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imagining in order to explore what’s referred to as co-activation and inhabitation in the brain.
An example of this could be a situation where the participants heard the word ‘cloud’ and were instantly shown four images. One of the images was of a cloud, while the others were of similar sounding words like ‘clown’. The purpose of this task was to see how swiftly the brains could make a connection between the correct word and picture. Bilinguals were constantly better at this task.
This interesting study creates however, a chicken-or-egg scenario, as it’s difficult to answer whether bilingual people were better at the tasks because of their knowledge of two languages.
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