Aug 10, 2006

bilingualism: switching languages

It would be interesting to see how that unfolds on a macro-behavioral level, such as cross-cultural code switching.

"Scientists long assumed multilingual people used distinct areas of the brain—one for each language—but mounting evidence indicates that polyglots use only one area for all the languages they speak. The brain must therefore transition between multiple "modes" in order for the speaker to switch languages while continuing to use the same section of the brain for language processing.A new study led by University College London neurologist Jenny Crinion pinpointed the left caudate—an area of the brain known for its role in motor control—as the area responsible for controlling language and preventing the speaker from switching between dialects at inopportune times". [source: Seed magazine, Aug 06)