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Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:21 PM

Second Languages Slow Brain Decline

Speaking two languages throughout life may slow the loss of mental agility that comes with age.

When seniors were challenged to switch between two basic thought tasks, bilinguals reacted more quickly than those who spoke only English. What’s more, imaging scans showed that older people who had always spoken two languages used their brains more efficiently than single-language speakers.

The findings add to growing evidence that, along with other mentally stimulating activities, speaking multiple languages from a young age can help buffer the brain from aging-related declines.
Bilingualism "doesn’t make you young like a young adult, but it makes you faster than your peers who only speak one language," said Brian Gold, a neuroscientist at the University of Kentucky, Lexington.

http://news.discovery.com/human/bilingualism-protects-brain-into-old-age-130108.html

45 replies, 2706 views

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Arrow 45 replies Author Time Post
Reply Second Languages Slow Brain Decline (Original post)
Xipe Totec Jan 2013 OP
mzteris Jan 2013 #1
Xipe Totec Jan 2013 #2
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2013 #3
Xipe Totec Jan 2013 #4
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2013 #7
JaneyVee Jan 2013 #15
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #5
Xipe Totec Jan 2013 #8
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #13
Scuba Jan 2013 #22
kelliekat44 Jan 2013 #31
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #6
socialist_n_TN Jan 2013 #9
TXDemoGal Jan 2013 #14
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #41
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #40
hollysmom Jan 2013 #10
Xipe Totec Jan 2013 #11
hollysmom Jan 2013 #20
Xipe Totec Jan 2013 #27
hollysmom Jan 2013 #37
Xipe Totec Jan 2013 #45
mucifer Jan 2013 #12
Mira Jan 2013 #16
flamingdem Jan 2013 #17
donco Jan 2013 #18
Amonester Jan 2013 #19
barnabas63 Jan 2013 #21
hobbit709 Jan 2013 #23
Art_from_Ark Jan 2013 #24
Xipe Totec Jan 2013 #26
davidpdx Jan 2013 #25
Initech Jan 2013 #28
kentauros Jan 2013 #29
Xipe Totec Jan 2013 #33
kentauros Jan 2013 #34
HughBeaumont Jan 2013 #30
Xipe Totec Jan 2013 #32
Tanuki Jan 2013 #35
Xipe Totec Jan 2013 #38
eShirl Jan 2013 #39
Shankapotomus Jan 2013 #43
KitSileya Jan 2013 #36
Guy Whitey Corngood Jan 2013 #42
Xipe Totec Jan 2013 #44

Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:28 PM

1. Immersion schools

Should be the norm for nearly every child

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Response to mzteris (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:35 PM

2. Forever Young

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:38 PM

3. Cool, I'm covered!!!!

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:40 PM

4. Excellent!

поздравляю!

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:42 PM

7. Excelente...

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:15 PM

15. yay!

Отличная новость, мы все покрыты!

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:41 PM

5. It's my understanding that the same is true for reading music

either in standard notation or in tablature.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:47 PM

8. I have no doubt

And I am sure that computer languages also bring some benefit.

Anything that expand the mind.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:08 PM

13. Yes I think that's true..."using it" is a good thing

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:38 AM

22. Thanks, that makes me feel just a little bit smarter.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:17 AM

31. Same with doing crossword puzzles and or mind games.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:41 PM

6. Q'est ce que c'est? Excellente! Gracias. Chow. nt

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:52 PM

9. Shia shia......

At least I think that's the way it's spelled in pin yin.

I didn't start learning other languages until I was in my 40s though other than a couple of years of HS French. I wonder if they've done studies about learning another language later in life.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:14 PM

14. Xie xie

But I don't have the tone markers for the pinyin.

谢谢!

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Response to TXDemoGal (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:17 PM

41. I'm impressed! nt

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:16 PM

40. Congrats! I think I'm going to finally learn that French I've been meaning to. I have the tapes &

all that.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:53 PM

10. uH, Do computer languages count?

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:56 PM

11. Parlez-vous FORTRAN?

Some computer languages more than others, I'm sure.

Machine language? Definitely

Assembly? Probably.

C, C++, Java? Likely.

COBOL? Not!

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:08 AM

20. oh pooh - COBOL can be an art if you know what you are doing

I used to translate machine language into octal for a while because computer time was more valuable than my time, heh, so I had to act as a compiler to save time for people. Hexadecimal had not yet been invented. times change.
Started out in Fortran, went over to COBOL and a whole bunch of 4GL and alphabet soup of databases. Ended up learning UNIX while managing a staff of over 100 (ineptly).

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:40 AM

27. How do we tell truths that might hurt? - Essay by Edsger W.Dijkstra

Frankly, Dijkstra doesn't have any kind things to say about any computer language, but he particularly despised COBOL:

The tools we use have a profound (and devious!) influence on our thinking habits, and, therefore, on our thinking abilities.

FORTRAN —"the infantile disorder"—, by now nearly 20 years old, is hopelessly inadequate for whatever computer application you have in mind today: it is now too clumsy, too risky, and too expensive to use.

PL/I —"the fatal disease"— belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set.

It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.

The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offence.

APL is a mistake, carried through to perfection. It is the language of the future for the programming techniques of the past: it creates a new generation of coding bums.


http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~EWD/transcriptions/EWD04xx/EWD498.html

I took my first computer language course in 1973 - FORTRAN. COBOL was the second language. Dijkstra's essay was published in 1975. In 40 plus years as a programmer, I can't say that I ever used COBOL professionally. Mostly because there were always so many COBOL programmers to choose from and far, far fewer FORTRAN programmers. Then came C, and C++, and later JAVA - The COBOL of the internets.


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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #27)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 03:23 PM

37. always so many COBOL programmers to choose from - there's your problem

You look at anyone who can code as being acceptable. There is an art to any language. You have to understand what goes on behind the code. COBOL could be inefficient where you need huge machines to do simple things (and this is what happened when so many untalented people went into the business) or you could code elegantly, understanding what you were doing and making the code portable and self documenting. I always kept the documentation as comments in the code so that the programmers had to update it when they made changes. And if needed, it could be printed out and booked.

Clients would hire me to code, but I was always promoted to designing and mentoring others in how to improve their work to make it self documenting and consistent, even in different languages. No matter what language you use, there is a right and wrong way to code. Efficiency is not the most important, but inefficiency can cripple a system. Lack of maintained documentation, lack of....

You can't blame the language so much as the people who hired and ran projects.

I can not tell you how much trouble I had getting hired when I got older - older women not desirable in programming, One client told me they didn't want to hire me because it would be like trying to manage her mother. But we became friends and after she had to fire all the other consultants she had me conduct the interviews to hire a new staff for her with my unusual tactic of asking questions to see if they understood what they were doing, not just if they knew buzzwords and correct answers.

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #37)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:03 PM

45. I didn't choose or find just anyone who can code as being acceptable.

I was one to the chosen, not the chooser.

You can't program the Space Shuttle's on-board flight software on, 64K of ferrite core memory, using COBOL, no matter how good a programmer you are. That requires skill, scientific training, and a specialized language called HAL (Heuristic Algorithm Language) running on a specialized operating system (FCOS, Flight Computer Operating System). The right tool for the right job.

As a scientific computer programmer, I was never called on to write business applications using COBOL, the COmmon Business Oriented Language. The name says what the purpose is.

The litany of specialized languages I've had to use is too long, and arcane to be meaningful. From real time operating systems to digital signal processors.

Each language molds the mind a certain way. It establishes a frame of reference and a domain of interest. Alan Turing proved that all computers and all programming languages are equivalent and interchangeable, if speed and size of code are irrelevant.

But speed and size of code are never irrelevant.


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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:01 PM

12. Well maybe my grandmother would have declined faster if she wasn't multilingual.

She had lots of dementia in her final years in her mid '70s.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:18 PM

16. You just made my day. Hell,

you made my entire new year.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:40 AM

17. How 'bout slang? Datud be hella kewl

Surfers would live forever

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:49 AM

18. I guess i'm screwed

i speak three.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:57 AM

19. C'est aussi pour cela que j'aime DU ! :)

English is my second language (and, too often, it shows... apologies).


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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:14 AM

21. 3 languages here!

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:40 AM

23. Does being able to cuss in 6 languages count?

If it does, then I'm good.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:43 AM

24. Sugoi!

私はずっとバイリンガルの生活をしている!

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #24)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:14 AM

26. Sibara shi!

素晴らしい!

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:57 AM

25. This reminds me of a joke...

I live in South Korea and when I was teaching at a university a few years a Korean professor told me this one:

What do you call someone who knows two languages?



















Bilingual
















What do you call someone who knows one language?


















American

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:59 AM

28. Domo arigato Mr. Roboto!!!

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:53 AM

29. "along with other mentally stimulating activities"

Okay, after looking through that article, I didn't see anything with regards to what these other activities might be. Considering, too, that this added benefit of being bilingual stems from learning those languages during childhood, I think I'd rather know what these other activities might be. I didn't learn any languages until high school (German and Latin.)

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Response to kentauros (Reply #29)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:20 AM

33. In the article, third paragraph from the bottom

Speaking two languages isn’t the only way to fight back against aging’s assault on the brain. Other research offers strong evidence for the protective effects of physical exercise and crossword puzzles, among other stimulating behaviors. The new research into bilingualism may help show how all sorts of activities like these offer benefits.

My take as to what those other activities might be are anything that puts your mind or body to work. puzzles, games, exercise, music, poetry,...

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #33)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:37 AM

34. I have a constantly and highly active imagination.

So I hope that counts, too

Thanks for finding that. I skimmed trying to see if they referenced beyond that one little statement, and missed it anyway.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:09 AM

30. It'd be nice if I had the time and money to learn a second language.

It just takes too damned long to be fluent. If I'm learning a second language, I'm not going to want to sound like an American tourist when I'm done. Unfortunately, that takes time and gobs of cash. "Ever heard of a library??" PFFFFFFFFFFFT. The old school repetition-based crap they got there isn't getting me off the launch pad. More than a few reviewers of the expensive Rosetta Stone system even say you won't be fluent even after five volumes of it. What does it take? I don't exactly have money to travel and I don't live in Canada.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #30)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:19 AM

32. Regarding learning other languages, the answer is in your sigline.


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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #30)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:02 AM

35. Do you have any foreign language stations included in your cable package?

Several of my friends who were born in other countries and knew no English when they moved here as adults have said that they learned a lot of English by watching TV, including simple-minded programs such as soap operas and cartoons.

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Response to Tanuki (Reply #35)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 04:22 PM

38. I learned English listening to the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.

And a whole slew of tv shows like:

Gunsmoke
Lost in Space
Star Trek
The Wild Wild West
Honey West
The Avengers
The Twilight Zone

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Response to Tanuki (Reply #35)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 04:30 PM

39. and for people w/o cable, you can select various languages on Justin.tv channel listings

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #30)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:32 PM

43. You have the whole Internet

You can remotely immerse yourself in a language and culture. Pick a language! Any language!

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:36 AM

36. That's good news!

Eller, det var gode nyheter.

Ou peut-être, voila de bonnes nouvelles! (J'ai oublié presque tout mon francais, mais cet automne, j'ai lu 'Le Tour du Monde en 80 Jour' en francais pour mon club de lecture(?). Comme j'ai été fier quand j'ai fini! )

O, posso dire che é una buona notizia. (Ho anche dimenticato almeno tutto il mio italiano, ma....)


It's also good to hear just after I signed up for Japanese classes

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Response to Xipe Totec (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:21 PM

42. Si llego a saber eso. Hubiera aprendido a hablar inglés. nt

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Response to Guy Whitey Corngood (Reply #42)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:46 PM

44. Mafalda es mi heroina


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