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 and cognitive development tasks such as brain training, speaking multiple languages from a young age can help buffer the brain from aging-related declines.