Create Account | Sign In: Author or Forum

News  |  Journals  |  Conferences  |  Opinion  |  Articles  |  Forums  |  Twitter    
Category: Family Medicine | Neurology | Pediatrics | News

Back to Health News

Bilingual Homes Help Babies Exercise Their Brain: Study

Last Updated: September 07, 2011.


Brain flexibility lasts longer when more than one language is spoken at home, research shows

Share |

Comments: (0)



Brain flexibility lasts longer when more than one language is spoken at home, research shows.

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Babies living in bilingual homes have a longer period of time when their brain is flexible to different languages than infants living where just one language is spoken, researchers say.

The new study looked at infants living in bilingual (English and Spanish) and monolingual homes (English or Spanish), and found that the brains of babies in bilingual homes remained flexible to languages until they were 10 to 12 months old, compared with 6 to 9 months for babies in monolingual homes.

The extended brain flexibility of bilingual infants may be due to their exposure to a greater variety of speech sounds at home, the University of Washington researchers suggested.

The investigators also found that the relative amount of English or Spanish the babies were exposed to affected their vocabulary as toddlers. For example, the more Spanish they heard as infants, the more Spanish words they knew when they were 15 months old.

The study was published online Aug. 17 in the Journal of Phonetics.

"The bilingual brain is fascinating because it reflects humans' abilities for flexible thinking -- bilingual babies learn that objects and events in the world have two names, and flexibly switch between these labels, giving the brain lots of good exercise," co-author Patricia Kuhl, director of the UW's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, said in a university news release.

Learning more about the brain mechanisms that enable infants to learn multiple languages could help boost bilingualism in adults, she and her colleagues said.

More information

The Linguist List has more about bilingual and multilingual children.

SOURCE: University of Washington, news release, Aug. 29, 2011

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Previous: Health Tip: Help Prevent Respiratory Infections Next: Toxic After-Effects Still Haunt 9/11 Responders

Reader comments on this article are listed below. Review our comments policy.

Submit your opinion:





Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application


 advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)



Useful Sites
  Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us
Copyright © 2001-2015
Doctors Lounge.
All rights reserved.

Medical Reference:
Diseases | Symptoms
Drugs | Labs | Procedures
Software | Tutorials

Links | Humor
Forum Archive
CME | Conferences

Privacy Statement
Terms & Conditions
Editorial Board
About us | Email

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.