Effect of English learning experience on kids prefrontal cortex

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Effect of English learning experience on young children’s prefrontal cortex functioning for attentional control: An fNIRS study.

Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2019 Jul;2019:4832-4835

Authors: Li C, Zhang M, Ding K, Zhou J, Yu D

Abstract
The exploration concerning effect of bilingualism on cognitive performance has been enriched in recently studies. However, scarce research focused on its impact on the brain function, especially in non-proficient bilingual children. In the present study, both Chinese monolingual and English as a foreign language (EFL) bilingual children were conducted to a non-verbal attentional network task (ANT) by functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) technique for exploring the consequence of English learning experience on young children’s prefrontal regions of functioning attentional control. The behavior results showed that young EFL bilinguals outperformed monolinguals on the accuracy of ANT conflict condition. Furthermore, EFL bilingual children had higher activation in the left prefrontal cortex (inferior frontal gyrus and dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex) than counterpart monolinguals. More interestingly, the degree of bilingual language balance positively correlated with that behavior accuracy and brain activation in bilingual group. These findings provided additional support for the bilingual advantage hypothesis and illustrated implications for understanding how foreign language learning impact children’s brain development.

PMID: 31946943 [PubMed – in process]

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