Results of a study. Excerpt:
The Swedish MRI study showed that learning a foreign language has a visible effect on the brain. Young adult military recruits with a flair for languages learned Arabic, Russian or Dari intensively, while a control group of medical and cognitive science students also studied hard, but not at languages. MRI scans showed specific parts of the brains of the language students developed in size whereas the brain structures of the control group remained unchanged. Equally interesting was that learners whose brains grew in the hippocampus and areas of the cerebral cortex related to language learning had better language skills than other learners for whom the motor region of the cerebral cortex developed more.
Read more here at https://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/sep/04/what-happens-to-the-brain-language-learning?platform=hootsuite
From Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170215101444.htm
These new findings suggest that language-specialised brain areas work in constant interaction with other areas known to support other cognitive processes, such as perception and action. The resulting distributed meaning representations act as dynamic cortical networks rather than a series of specialised modules as suggested by traditional theories.
While previous research has often judged children’s spatial skills based at least in part on the number of spatial words they know, Miller found her study subjects to have a range of descriptive abilities not limited by the size of their spatial vocabulary.
“They are describing where the mouse is by saying, ‘He’s on the big table,’ or ‘on the brown box,’” Miller says. “Those size and color words aren’t spatial terms in this context, but in the context of the picture they’re seeing they are really useful.”
The better the kids were at adapting to each image and supplying relevant information, the higher their scores tended to be on the tests of other spatial skills that predict future success in, say, math.
Find at http://psychcentral.com/news/2016/11/30/kids-appropriate-use-of-words-improve-spatial-skills/113226.html