Bilingual and monolingual baby brains differ in response to language

Before they can even speak, the brains of bilingual babies show differences in how they respond to language sounds compared to monolingual babies. The study used the brain-recording technique called magnetoencephalography (MEG) to measure brain responses in 11-month-old babies. The recordings revealed that the brains of monolingual babies discriminated English, whereas the brains of bilingual babies discriminated both English and Spanish. The bilingual brains also showed increased activity in areas related to executive functioning, suggesting that exposure to two languages shapes cognitive development more generally.

Provided by the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences

Runtime: 2:52

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