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The many shades of bilingualism: language experiences modulate adaptations in brain structure

Pliatsikas, C., DeLuca, V. and Voits, T. (2020) The many shades of bilingualism: language experiences modulate adaptations in brain structure. Language Learning, 70 (52). pp. 133-149. ISSN 0023-8333

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/lang.12386

Abstract/Summary

Recent years have seen an expansion in the research related to structural brain adaptations related to the acquisition and processing of additional languages. However, the accumulating evidence remains to a great extent inconsistent, with a large variety of cortical, subcortical and cerebellar effects reported in various studies. Here we propose that the variability in the data can be explained by the differences in the language background and experiences of the tested samples. We also propose that the field should move away from monolithic bilingual vs. monolingual comparisons; instead, it should focus on the experiences of the bilingual groups as predictors of structural changes in the brain, and also employ longitudinal designs to test the dynamic effects of active bilingualism. The implications of the proposed approaches for the suggested benefits of bilingualism on ageing and patient populations are also discussed.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:86268
Uncontrolled Keywords:bilingualism, brain structure, ageing, individual differences, neuroplasticity
Publisher:Wiley

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