Don’t we all want to become smarter? Naturally, but the question is how. Eat more walnuts? Do crosswords or Sudoku? Read more? These are folklore methods, yet scientific data has now proven one specific way to become smarter — learn a new language.
A few picked-up phrases of a different language do not count, it has to be proficient and fluent to the level of a bilinguist.
According to studies by Canadian neurologist Professor Ellen Bialystok, bilingualism has been proved to enlarge the brain’s cognitive capacity, which subsequently facilitates more effective thinking, problem solving, and memory recall, and prepares for more ready and better responses to external stimuli.
Grey matter, which is closely related with impulse reception and cognitive activities, are found more in bilinguists than in monolingual people. Dual language users tend to possess stronger memory. They are able to handle large amounts of incoming messages and grasp the essentials. This ability is learned from the constant switching between languages.
Further studies by the team also show that the capabilities of these bilinguists can last into old age, and can also help with the prevention of Alzheimer’s.
Researched by Monica Song and Aizhu Lu.