Changes in white-matter connectivity in late second language learners: Evidence from diffusion tensor imaging

Eleonora Rossi, Hu Cheng, Judith F. Kroll, Michele T. Diaz, Sharlene D. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Morphological brain changes as a consequence of new learning have been widely established. Learning a second language (L2) is one such experience that can lead to rapid structural neural changes. However, still relatively little is known about how levels of proficiency in the L2 and the age at which the L2 is learned influence brain neuroplasticity. The goal of this study is to provide novel evidence for the effect of bilingualism on white matter structure in relatively proficient but late L2 learners who acquired the second language after early childhood. Overall, the results demonstrate a significant effect on white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) as a function of L2 learning. Higher FA values were found in a broad white matter network including the anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF), the Uncinate Fasciculus (UF), and the inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF). Moreover, FA values were correlated with age of L2 acquisition, suggesting that learning an L2, even past childhood, induces neural changes. Finally, these results provide some initial evidence that variability in the age of L2 acquisition has important consequences for neural plasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2040
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume8
Issue numberNOV
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 21 2017

Fingerprint

Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Anisotropy
Language
Learning
Neuronal Plasticity
Multilingualism
Brain
Radiation
White Matter

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Rossi, Eleonora ; Cheng, Hu ; Kroll, Judith F. ; Diaz, Michele T. ; Newman, Sharlene D. / Changes in white-matter connectivity in late second language learners : Evidence from diffusion tensor imaging. In: Frontiers in Psychology. 2017 ; Vol. 8, No. NOV.
@article{a3f0949bca094860adc6f1b80b7c2527,
title = "Changes in white-matter connectivity in late second language learners: Evidence from diffusion tensor imaging",
abstract = "Morphological brain changes as a consequence of new learning have been widely established. Learning a second language (L2) is one such experience that can lead to rapid structural neural changes. However, still relatively little is known about how levels of proficiency in the L2 and the age at which the L2 is learned influence brain neuroplasticity. The goal of this study is to provide novel evidence for the effect of bilingualism on white matter structure in relatively proficient but late L2 learners who acquired the second language after early childhood. Overall, the results demonstrate a significant effect on white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) as a function of L2 learning. Higher FA values were found in a broad white matter network including the anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF), the Uncinate Fasciculus (UF), and the inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF). Moreover, FA values were correlated with age of L2 acquisition, suggesting that learning an L2, even past childhood, induces neural changes. Finally, these results provide some initial evidence that variability in the age of L2 acquisition has important consequences for neural plasticity.",
author = "Eleonora Rossi and Hu Cheng and Kroll, {Judith F.} and Diaz, {Michele T.} and Newman, {Sharlene D.}",
year = "2017",
month = "11",
day = "21",
doi = "10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02040",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "8",
journal = "Frontiers in Psychology",
issn = "1664-1078",
publisher = "Frontiers Research Foundation",
number = "NOV",

}

Changes in white-matter connectivity in late second language learners : Evidence from diffusion tensor imaging. / Rossi, Eleonora; Cheng, Hu; Kroll, Judith F.; Diaz, Michele T.; Newman, Sharlene D.

In: Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 8, No. NOV, 2040, 21.11.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Changes in white-matter connectivity in late second language learners

T2 - Evidence from diffusion tensor imaging

AU - Rossi, Eleonora

AU - Cheng, Hu

AU - Kroll, Judith F.

AU - Diaz, Michele T.

AU - Newman, Sharlene D.

PY - 2017/11/21

Y1 - 2017/11/21

N2 - Morphological brain changes as a consequence of new learning have been widely established. Learning a second language (L2) is one such experience that can lead to rapid structural neural changes. However, still relatively little is known about how levels of proficiency in the L2 and the age at which the L2 is learned influence brain neuroplasticity. The goal of this study is to provide novel evidence for the effect of bilingualism on white matter structure in relatively proficient but late L2 learners who acquired the second language after early childhood. Overall, the results demonstrate a significant effect on white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) as a function of L2 learning. Higher FA values were found in a broad white matter network including the anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF), the Uncinate Fasciculus (UF), and the inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF). Moreover, FA values were correlated with age of L2 acquisition, suggesting that learning an L2, even past childhood, induces neural changes. Finally, these results provide some initial evidence that variability in the age of L2 acquisition has important consequences for neural plasticity.

AB - Morphological brain changes as a consequence of new learning have been widely established. Learning a second language (L2) is one such experience that can lead to rapid structural neural changes. However, still relatively little is known about how levels of proficiency in the L2 and the age at which the L2 is learned influence brain neuroplasticity. The goal of this study is to provide novel evidence for the effect of bilingualism on white matter structure in relatively proficient but late L2 learners who acquired the second language after early childhood. Overall, the results demonstrate a significant effect on white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) as a function of L2 learning. Higher FA values were found in a broad white matter network including the anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF), the Uncinate Fasciculus (UF), and the inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF). Moreover, FA values were correlated with age of L2 acquisition, suggesting that learning an L2, even past childhood, induces neural changes. Finally, these results provide some initial evidence that variability in the age of L2 acquisition has important consequences for neural plasticity.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85034634421&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85034634421&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02040

DO - 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02040

M3 - Article

C2 - 29209263

AN - SCOPUS:85034634421

VL - 8

JO - Frontiers in Psychology

JF - Frontiers in Psychology

SN - 1664-1078

IS - NOV

M1 - 2040

ER -