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Prof. Ding Guosheng Gives Talk on How Bilingualism Brings Functional and Structural Brain Changes

2014年01月08日 22:01  点击:[]

Professor Ding Guosheng from National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning,BeijingNormalUniversity, was invited to present his recent work on bimodal speakers on January 3, 2014.

In his talk, Prof. Ding introduced the history and background of neuroimaging studies on bilingualism. Since late 1990s, neuroscientists tried to identify common and separate neural substrates for L1 and L2 processing; and they found a number of factors, such as age of acquisition (AoA) and L2 proficiency, manipulate the brain activation during bilingual processing. In the recent years, there are increasing interests on the language control system which helps bilinguals switch between languages. Prof. Ding proposed that learning a second language can change the neural substrates and brain network for first language and language control system. In his series of fMRI and MRI experiments, he found that proficient bimodal speakers, who speak Chinese and use sign language proficiently, showed different brain activation and connectivity patterns, compared with Chinese speakers, who have no sign language experience. In addition, the bimodal speakers also had structural changes in the language control areas, such as the caudate, which supports the hypothesis that second language learning shapes the neural mechanisms for first language processing and language control.

The talk lasted about two and a half hours. Prof. Guosheng Ding gave a detailed introduction on the background of their study and introduced many classic works in the field. His studies and findings aroused a lot of interests and discussion in the audience, who thought highly of Prof. Ding and his work.

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