Friday, July 17, 2009

Haifa study: First, second languages controlled by different parts of brain

Ever feel as though you had two languages or more competing for a finite amount of brain space?

If so, think again.

A new study by a University of Haifa researcher on bilingualism suggests that first and second languages are represented in different places in the brain.
Dr. Raphiq Ibrahim was able to extend what little knowledge exists on cerebral linguistic representation by studying the curious medical case of an Israeli Arab who, after sustaining brain damage, found it easier to regain his Arabic than his Hebrew.

The 41-year-old bilingual patient is a native Arabic speaker, but spoke Hebrew nearly as well. A university graduate, he passed entrance exams in Hebrew and used the language frequently at work. Next............