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VOA慢速英语2013 Health Report - Lifelong Bilingualism Gives Seniors Mental Edge

时间:2013-01-27 14:23来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]


Health Report - Lifelong Bilingualism Gives Seniors Mental Edge

健康报道 - 终生双语环境给了老年人心智优势

From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report in Special English. A new study adds to evidence suggesting that being bilingual is good for the brain. In the study, older adults who have spoken two languages since childhood showed better mental skills than those who speak just one language.


Earlier studies showed that bilingualism seemed to favor the development of these heightened skills. The authors of the new study say their findings provide evidence of that cognitive1 advantage among older, bilingual adults.


“What is the functional2 basis of this advantage? Is it because they activate3 different parts of their brain that are typically used for doing cognitive control tasks? Or is it because they use their brain more efficiently4?”


Brian Gold was the lead author of the study. Dr. Gold is a neuroscientist at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.

布莱恩·戈尔德(Brian Gold)是这项研究的主要作者。戈尔德博士是肯塔基大学医学院的神经学家。

In the study, the researchers asked people to sort colors and shapes in a series of simple exercises. Dr. Gold and his colleagues used brain imaging to compare how well three groups of people switched among these exercises. The groups were bilingual seniors, monolingual seniors and younger adults.


The imaging showed different patterns of activity in the frontal part of the brain, in an area used for processing such tasks.


“We found that seniors who are bilingual are able to activate their brain with a magnitude closer to young subjects. So they don’t need to expend5 as much effort, and yet they still out-perform their monolingual peers, suggesting they use their brain more efficiently.”


Dr. Gold says knowing a second language made no difference for the young adults. They did better at the exercises than both groups of older people. But he says the older bilingual adults appear to have built up a kind of surplus from a lifetime of increased mental activity.


He says his research confirms a previous study on bilingualism among patients with Alzheimer's, a brain-wasting disease. That study showed that bilingual speakers developed more damage, but were able to think at the same level as patients with less damage.


“This study showed that the bilinguals tended to have more brain atrophy6, suggesting, you know, the fact that they're at the same cognitive level, somehow their bilingualism is helping7 them to compensate8 for that more brain atrophy. This finding that we have is consistent with that, because it basically says that bilinguals as seniors are able to do more with less.”


Dr. Gold says he believes the new study confirms that bilingualism can play a protective role in the brain. He now plans to study whether learning a second language or immigrating9 to another country as an adult can provide some of the same mental advantages as lifelong bilingualism.


The study appears in the Journal of Neuroscience.



1 cognitive Uqwz0     
  • As children grow older,their cognitive processes become sharper.孩子们越长越大,他们的认知过程变得更为敏锐。
  • The cognitive psychologist is like the tinker who wants to know how a clock works.认知心理学者倒很像一个需要通晓钟表如何运转的钟表修理匠。
2 functional 5hMxa     
  • The telephone was out of order,but is functional now.电话刚才坏了,但现在可以用了。
  • The furniture is not fancy,just functional.这些家具不是摆着好看的,只是为了实用。
3 activate UJ2y0     
  • We must activate the youth to study.我们要激励青年去学习。
  • These push buttons can activate the elevator.这些按钮能启动电梯。
4 efficiently ZuTzXQ     
  • The worker oils the machine to operate it more efficiently.工人给机器上油以使机器运转更有效。
  • Local authorities have to learn to allocate resources efficiently.地方政府必须学会有效地分配资源。
5 expend Fmwx6     
  • Don't expend all your time on such a useless job.不要把时间消耗在这种无用的工作上。
  • They expend all their strength in trying to climb out.他们费尽全力想爬出来。
6 atrophy 3eWyU     
  • Patients exercised their atrophied limbs in the swimming pool.病人们在泳池里锻炼萎缩的四肢。
  • Many hoped he would renew the country's atrophied political system.很多人都期望他能使该国萎靡的政治体系振作起来。
7 helping 2rGzDc     
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
8 compensate AXky7     
vt.补偿,赔偿;酬报 vi.弥补;补偿;抵消
  • She used her good looks to compensate her lack of intelligence. 她利用她漂亮的外表来弥补智力的不足。
  • Nothing can compensate for the loss of one's health. 一个人失去了键康是不可弥补的。
9 immigrating 97e64302f3d55565cfd50b8d2f6cb4ef     
v.移入( immigrate的现在分词 );移民
  • I have to tie up loose ends before immigrating to America. 移民美国前,我先要处理手头上的一些琐事。 来自互联网
  • Marrying an American citizen is a guaranteed ticket to immigrating to America. 与美国公民结婚是移民美国最佳的门票。 来自互联网
TAG标签:   VOA慢速英语  Mental
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