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学习语言有助于大脑发育

时间: 2013年03月01日 | 作者: | 来源: 环球科学

 

 

    学习一门新的语言有助于拓宽眼界,而科学家现在还发现,学语言有助于大脑某些区域的成长发育。

    研究人员对瑞典武装部队翻译学院的学生进行了脑部研究,要求学生们以极快的速度学习外语,大部分人需要在13个月后流利使用阿拉伯语、俄语以及波斯方言达理语进行交流。随后将这些学生的大脑同医科学生的大脑进行对比,医科学生也同样需要在短时间内掌握大量的知识,只不过这些知识与语言无关。

    学习语言的学生,其大脑海马区和部分大脑皮层出现了明显的生长迹象。而医科学生的大脑则没有出现明显变化。该项研究的结果发表在《神经影像》(NeuroImage)杂志上。

    有趣的是,在掌握了更多语言技巧、具有更高语言能力的语言学家的大脑中,海马区和与语言有关的大脑皮层部分也发育得更好。而对于那些需要付出极大努力才能提高语言成绩的学生而言,科学家发现,他们大脑皮层的运动区发育得更好。大脑中哪些区域发生变化以及变化多少,都与一个人学习语言的困难程度相关。但究竟为什么会这样,现在还不是很清楚。

 (环球科学 李想)

英文原文:
 
Studying Languages Can Grow the Brain
 
Researchers have found that people who study languages tend to show significant growth in certain areas of the brain.
Learning a new language can grow one’s perspective. Now scientists find that learning languages grows parts of the brain.
Scientists studied the brains of students in the Swedish Armed Forces Interpreter Academy, who are required to learn new languages at an alarmingly fast rate. Many must become fluent in Arabic, Russian and the Persian dialect Dari in just 13 months. The researchers compared the brains of these students to the brains of medical students who also have to learn a tremendous amount in a very short period of time, but without the focus on languages.
The brains of the language learners exhibited significant new growth in the hippocampus and in parts of the cerebral cortex. The medical students’ brains showed no observed growth. The study was in the journal NeuroImage.
Interestingly, the amount of growth in the brains of the linguists correlated with better skills—so those with better language skills also experienced more growth in the hippocampus and areas of the cerebral cortex that relate to language. For other students who had to work harder to improve their language skills, the scientists found greater growth in the motor area of the cerebral cortex. Where and how much change take place in the brain are linked to how easily one picks up a language. But it remains to be seen why this is.