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[翻译字幕]Health Report - Lifelong Bilingualism Gives Seniors Mental Edge

来源:慢速英语   时间:2013-01-27 09:19:12

健康报道 - 终生双语环境给了老年人心智优势

From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report in Special English. A new study adds to evidence suggesting that being bilingual is good for the brain. In the study, older adults who have spoken two languages since childhood showed better mental skills than those who speak just one language.

这里是美国之音慢速英语健康报道。一项新的研究进一步表明讲双语对大脑有益。在这项研究中,打小讲双语的老年人比单语者展示出了更好的心智技能。

Earlier studies showed that bilingualism seemed to favor the development of these heightened skills. The authors of the new study say their findings provide evidence of that cognitive advantage among older, bilingual adults.

早先的研究表明,双语似乎有利于这些高技能的发展。这项新研究的作者说,他们的研究结果为双语老年人的认知优势提供了证据。

“What is the functional basis of this advantage? Is it because they activate different parts of their brain that are typically used for doing cognitive control tasks? Or is it because they use their brain more efficiently?”

“这方面优势的功能基础是什么?是不是因为他们激活了大脑通常用于认知控制任务的部位?或者是不是因为他们使用大脑更为有效?”

Brian Gold was the lead author of the study. Dr. Gold is a neuroscientist at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.

布莱恩·戈尔德(Brian Gold)是这项研究的主要作者。戈尔德博士是肯塔基大学医学院的神经学家。

In the study, the researchers asked people to sort colors and shapes in a series of simple exercises. Dr. Gold and his colleagues used brain imaging to compare how well three groups of people switched among these exercises. The groups were bilingual seniors, monolingual seniors and younger adults.

在这项研究中,研究人员要求人们在一系列简单练习中对颜色和形状分类。戈尔德博士和他的同事们使用脑成像技术来比较三组研究对象在这些练习中如何切换。这三组分别是双语老年人,单语老年人和青年。

The imaging showed different patterns of activity in the frontal part of the brain, in an area used for processing such tasks.

脑部成像展现出了大脑用于处理这类任务的额叶部分的不同活动模式。
 

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“We found that seniors who are bilingual are able to activate their brain with a magnitude closer to young subjects. So they don’t need to expend as much effort, and yet they still out-perform their monolingual peers, suggesting they use their brain more efficiently.”

“我们发现,双语老年人能够以接近年轻人的量值激活它们的大脑。因此他们无需付出更多努力就能胜过单语同龄人,这表明他们使用大脑更为有效。”

Dr. Gold says knowing a second language made no difference for the young adults. They did better at the exercises than both groups of older people. But he says the older bilingual adults appear to have built up a kind of surplus from a lifetime of increased mental activity.

戈尔德博士表示,掌握第二门语言对年轻人来说没什么区别。他们在练习中比两组老年人表现更好。但他表示,双语老年人似乎通过一辈子高强度的心智活动建立了一种盈余。

He says his research confirms a previous study on bilingualism among patients with Alzheimer's, a brain-wasting disease. That study showed that bilingual speakers developed more damage, but were able to think at the same level as patients with less damage.

他说,他的研究证实了一项针对脑萎缩疾病阿尔茨海默氏症患者的双语环境的早期研究。那项研究表明,双语者对大脑造成了更大损伤,但其思考水平等同于损伤更小的单语患者。

“This study showed that the bilinguals tended to have more brain atrophy, suggesting, you know, the fact that they're at the same cognitive level, somehow their bilingualism is helping them to compensate for that more brain atrophy. This finding that we have is consistent with that, because it basically says that bilinguals as seniors are able to do more with less.”

“该研究表明双语者脑萎缩更为严重,但他们的认知水平同单语者相同。这表明某种程度上双语环境有助于他们弥补脑萎缩更严重的劣势。而我们的研究结果与此一致,因为这基本就是说双双语老年人能够做得更好”。

Dr. Gold says he believes the new study confirms that bilingualism can play a protective role in the brain. He now plans to study whether learning a second language or immigrating to another country as an adult can provide some of the same mental advantages as lifelong bilingualism.

戈尔德博士表示,他认为这项新研究证实双语能起到保护大脑的作用。他目前计划要么学习第二门语言,要么移民到另一个国家。因为终生的双语环境可以提供和讲双语一样的心智优势。

The study appears in the Journal of Neuroscience.

这项研究发表在《神经学》期刊上。

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