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How does the bilingual experience sculpt the brain?

Authors
  • Costa, Albert
  • Sebastián-Gallés, Núria
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nature reviews. Neuroscience
Publication Date
May 01, 2014
Volume
15
Issue
5
Pages
336–345
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/nrn3709
PMID: 24739788
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

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.

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