For people who speak many languages, there’s something special about their native tongue

A study of polyglots, individuals who speak five or more languages, found that their brain processes their native language differently. When listening to any language they speak, the same language regions of the brain light up. However, the brain showed less activity when processing the native language compared to other languages, suggesting that processing the native language requires less effort. The study also found that the brain network becomes more engaged when listening to languages related to those they understand. These findings provide insight into how the brain processes multiple languages and the unique processing of native languages by polyglots.

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