London: Learning a second language after the age of 10 improves cognitive functions in the brain, says a study.
Researchers from University of Kent's school of psychology analysed brain scans from 20 people aged 30 who lived in Britain for at least 13 months.
They started learning English as a second language around age 10.
The analyses were compared to 25 people who spoke only English.
The results showed that the brain's white matter showed improvement in the people who begin learning English around the age of 10 than those who grow up speaking only English.
The higher levels of structural integrity were in areas responsible for language learning and semantic processing.
"Everyday handling of more than one language functions as an intensive cognitive stimulation that benefits specific language-related brain structures by preserving their integrity, and therefore it protects them against deterioration in older age," said the study, led by Christos Pliatsikas of University of Kent School of Psychology.
The study appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.