If you want to keep your mind strong, learn another language … even in old age!
Toronto: A study in Canada found that learning a language other than one’s mother tongue strengthens our brains and improves our learning abilities.
Numerous studies in the past have shown that people who are fluent in two languages at the same time are more intelligent than those who are familiar with one language, and that mental illnesses appear in them significantly later.
However, it was not clear what effects the learning of another language would have on the mind at an older age.
To find out, Toronto, York University in Canada and a private organization called BayCrest recruited 76 volunteers between the ages of 65 and 75.
Half of them were given a brain training app, while the other half were taught Spanish through another mobile app, which they did not know before.
All volunteers used the apps for 30 minutes a day for 16 weeks, after which their mental abilities were assessed.
Volunteers learning Spanish improved their memory, analysis and decision-making skills significantly, and said they enjoyed learning the new language.
Dr. Jade Meltzer, lead author of the study, published in the latest issue of the research journal Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, says that learning a new language is an exciting activity in itself that invariably benefits the brain.
During the study, the volunteers did not become proficient in the Spanish language, but their learning skills improved significantly.
This shows that learning a new language at any age can make the brain stronger and healthier.