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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2014 May;15(5):336-45. doi: 10.1038/nrn3709.

How does the bilingual experience sculpt the brain?

Author information

1
1] Center for Brain and Cognition, Department of Technology, Pompeu Fabra University, 08018 Barcelona, Spain. [2] ICREA (Institució Catalana de Recerca I Estudis Avançats), Passeig Lluís Companys, 23; 08010 Barcelona, Spain.
2
Center for Brain and Cognition, Department of Technology, Pompeu Fabra University, 08018 Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

The ability to speak two languages often marvels monolinguals, although bilinguals report no difficulties in achieving this feat. Here, we examine how learning and using two languages affect language acquisition and processing as well as various aspects of cognition. We do so by addressing three main questions. First, how do infants who are exposed to two languages acquire them without apparent difficulty? Second, how does language processing differ between monolingual and bilingual adults? Last, what are the collateral effects of bilingualism on the executive control system across the lifespan? Research in all three areas has not only provided some fascinating insights into bilingualism but also revealed new issues related to brain plasticity and language learning.

PMID:
24739788
PMCID:
PMC4295724
DOI:
10.1038/nrn3709
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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