ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (11): 1723-1732.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.01723

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Bilingualism (multilingualism) Helps Resist Alzheimer’s Disease?

CHENG Kaiwen1,3; DENG Yanhui2; YAO Dezhong3   

  1. (1 School of Foreign Languages, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 611756, China) (2 School of Foreign Languages, Chengdu Technological University, Chengdu 611730, China) (3 Key Laboratory for NeuroInformation of Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 610054, China)
  • Received:2013-11-21 Online:2014-11-15 Published:2014-11-15
  • Contact: CHENG Kaiwen, E-mail:


Research in neurolinguistics in the past 50 years has demonstrated the cognitive effects of bilingualism (or multilingualism). In this review we focus on the research over the past 10 years on the effect of bilingual or multilingual experiences in resisting Alzheimer's disease (AD). The possible neural mechanisms underlying such effect are explored under the theory of Cognitive Reserve. Some unsolved questions about language types, proficiency, age of learning and research methodologies are also raised for further discussion. The implication of these findings in helping prevent or delay AD, in promoting second language learning and teaching, and in offering insights into future research on interdisciplinary linguistics are also discussed.

Key words: bilingualism (multilingualism), Alzheimer's disease, cognitive reserve, interdisciplinary linguistics