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Some People May Be Pre-Wired To Be Bilingual, Study Finds

Update Date: Nov 27, 2014 07:35 PM EST

Brains of some people may be pre-wired to acquire a second language, a new research suggests. The research added that anyone who tries to move beyond their mother tongue will likely gain a brain boost. 

The brain "becomes more connected and integrated after learning," said study co-author Ping Li, co-director of the Center for Brain, Behavior and Cognition at Pennsylvania State University, in a press release. But it's even more interesting, Li said, that "the brain networks of the more successful learners are better connected even before learning takes place."

Researchers are now studying how brain wiring relates to the development of second-language skills. 

"We know that if the learning of a new language is successful, key brain regions responsible for handling languages will become activated. But we don't know how these different regions are connected with each other as a network," Li said.

The research suggests that studying a new language even for a brief period of time can have benefits, added Kara Morgan-Short, director of the Cognition of Second Language Acquisition Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in the press release.

"The results reviewed in this article are seen across groups of learners, so even learners who are not particularly talented may show these benefits as well," said Morgan-Short, who wasn't involved with the study.

The study was published in the Journal of Neurolinguistics. 

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