We need a language for communicating and building relationships. It is as vital as other nutrients in life. Language has a bigger role than you have ever thought of. It manifests and shapes our brain. Our mother tongue is the language we are born with and it is an important part of our daily lives.
However, multiple languages can be a part of our lives depending on the learning ability of an individual. This can even help us learn about different cultures and experiences in life.
We all know that language defines us as a part of our identity along with the home and place where we belong. But have you ever thought when did languages become a part of human life?
How does our brain interpret a language and how does it change our mental attitude? Let us have a closer look at all this.
Why is Human Language Important?
Living creatures need a language for communication but human language is unique and completely different from animals.
Have you ever notices the communication pattern animal use for certain behaviours? They use instrumental acts to indicate their needs as well of signs of danger.
On the other hand, we as humans utter sentences to communicate and express our thoughts or information about people or locations. This is what makes human language special.
Impact of Language on Brain
As humans, we have the ability to adapt to different cultures and learn to acquire knowledge for survival. This may be because of the biological tools we possess in order to create vocabulary. The brain structure enables us to construct and adapt to a set of rules of using a certain language.
Where are Language Centers in the Brain?
Language centers are in the left side of the brain. There are two primary centers known as Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. The Broca’s area helps to utter words whereas the Wernicke’s area is responsible for decoding the language.
An injury to any of these two areas affects the ability to speak and understand a language.
What Impact Does Bilingualism have on Our Brain Health?
Learning more than one language boosts the size of brain areas. A separate brain region known as hippocampus is known as responsible for learning. This part was known to grow as a result of learning more languages according to a study.
It is also observed that children learning new languages at early age find it easier to retain and comprehend new information. Multiple languages boost brain power and increase its potential to make new connections.
Benefits of Learning Multiple Languages
Brain health has a major impact of multilingualism. Learning more than one language also protects the brain’s cognitive functioning and prevents dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
One study showed that dementia patients knowing more than one language had a few years delayed onset of disease. This showed that learning a second language had more influence on the patients than any other drug. It was also observed that being bilingualism can prevent decline in cognitive function.
How Does Multilingualism Protect Your Brain?
So, how does this even happen? It is said that the lobes of brain responsible for making new memories are developed through multilingualism. This eventually increases the density of gray matter and also makes the cortical thick.
All this benefits the brain and enables it to comprehend information well. This way, a person learns to concentrate only on the necessary resources which prevents distractions from other tasks.
Does Language Change Perception?
A language does not only have its role in uttering speech but also makes us learn adaptability and experience the world. It may alter the way we think and conclude our point of views.
People having multiligualistic ability are observed to have different thoughts and reactions to situations. This can happen very frequently to them as they are known to have unwitting attitudes.
A language plays its role in how we perceive thoughts and happenings in the world. Multilingualism affects how a person interacts with others as the way he expresses changes. They describe contexts in a different way depending on what language they use at that moment.
A professor at the University of California reported similar findings about the relationship between language and brain. Lera Broditsky explained in her TED talk about the impacts of language on the way perceive the world. She based her talk on examples of nations and thier way of giving directions.
How to Boost Your Brain with Language?
Human brains are flexible and have a significant impact on shaping an individual’s personality. The changes in neural connections and gray matter can keep transforming our ability to learn ans comprehend. The neural pathways can be strengthened by learning new skills as new wirings take place.
Guidelines for Boosting Brain Health
The seven steps given by the American Heart Association advise people to indulge in certain activities for boosting their brain health. Regular exercise, healthy diet, healthy weight, blood sugar control, blood pressure control, cholesterol control, and no smoking are all part of the guidelines.
Moreover, other steps to boost your brain power include brain training. There are great benefits achieved through this step alone. But how can you actually train your brain?
There are brain training sessions including various brain exercises to enhance your brain power. The method gives long lasting results and is known as the loci training.
The training improves an individual’s memory capacity. The method uses unlimited familiar objects and landmarks to be memorized in an order.
Learning a New Language
As we have discussed, learning more than one language can immensely improve your brain health. Children can learn a language sooner than an adult and this ignites cognitive abilities in them.
It helps sharpen the mind and enhances brain elasticity. The neural network benefits from multilingualism and aging process slows down as a result even if you learn a language as an adult.
The inner Mozart always needs to be utilized in order to boost your brain power. Learning never goes in vain and so does learning a musical instrument stimulates your brain to rewire itself.
Such activities enrich your brain to perform better through increased connections in the brain structure.
Language is a diversified and complex topic. The ability to learn more than one language tells us about the flexibility of our minds. The total number of languages spoken in the world are 7000 all of which were shaped by humans according to their needs.
The power of language is immensely great and it can be used to shape our minds and perception about the world. It can help us make decisions and lead a healthier life.