Foreign Languages Slow Down Brain Aging and Build Trust in Advertising

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Hatched by Glasp

Aug 27, 2023

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Foreign Languages Slow Down Brain Aging and Build Trust in Advertising

As we age, our brain's performance tends to decline. The processing speed decreases, memory deteriorates, and control over language skills and executive functions declines. However, researchers from HSE University and Northumbria University have found that bilingualism can slow down and mitigate the course of age-related changes in the human brain.

The brain's ability to cope with age-related damage and maintain optimal performance is known as cognitive reserve. This reserve is built up over a person's life as the brain strengthens neural networks in response to external stimuli. The more complex these neural networks are, the greater a person's cognitive reserve, resulting in milder age-related changes.

In the study, researchers found a correlation between language proficiency and brain functioning. The longer people had studied a second language and the more fluent they were, the better they performed in the experiment. Interestingly, the level of language skills played a greater role than the length of time spent learning a second language.

Language is an integral part of our daily lives. We communicate, watch movies, and read books, constantly utilizing our language centers. With a high level of language proficiency, the correlation between successful conflict resolution and other components of cognitive reserve disappeared. This suggests that proficiency in two or more languages not only improves brain functioning in healthy individuals but also in those with neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, stroke. In fact, active bilinguals are diagnosed with these diseases 5-7 years later than monolingual speakers.

But what does this have to do with trust in advertising? Well, trust is an important factor when it comes to advertising effectiveness. According to a global study, the most credible advertising comes from people we know and trust. 83% of respondents say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family. Additionally, 66% trust consumer opinions posted online, making it the third-most-trusted format.

The connection between language proficiency and trust in advertising lies in the concept of cognitive reserve. When our brain's neural networks are strengthened through language learning, it not only improves brain functioning but also enhances our overall cognitive abilities. This includes our ability to process information, make decisions, and evaluate the credibility of advertising. As our cognitive reserve increases, so does our ability to trust the recommendations of others, whether they are friends and family or online consumer opinions.

So, what can we take away from these findings? Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Embrace language learning: Whether you're young or old, learning a second language can have long-lasting benefits for your brain. It not only improves brain functioning but also builds cognitive reserve, slowing down age-related changes.
  • 2. Trust your network: When it comes to advertising, the recommendations of friends and family hold significant weight. Trust in the opinions of those you know and trust, as well as consumer opinions posted online. These recommendations are more credible than other forms of advertising.
  • 3. Strengthen your cognitive reserve: Engage in activities that challenge your brain. Language learning is one way to do this, but other activities such as puzzles, reading, and social interactions can also contribute to building cognitive reserve. The stronger your reserve, the better equipped you are to make informed decisions and evaluate the trustworthiness of advertising.

In conclusion, foreign languages not only slow down brain aging but also play a role in building trust in advertising. Language proficiency improves brain functioning and cognitive reserve, leading to milder age-related changes. This, in turn, enhances our ability to trust the recommendations of others, making word-of-mouth and online consumer opinions more credible forms of advertising. So, embrace language learning, trust your network, and strengthen your cognitive reserve for a healthier brain and more informed decision-making process.

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