Your brain processes information faster if you know more than one language

by gaby on September 6, 2016 - 10:05am

Scientists have to understand how the brain’s neuron network works in order to speed them up and improve one’s learning process. However, the issue that they face is that they do not know the brain reacts to acquiring language and processing data and information in the learning process. Scientists from the Higher School of Economics (HSE) studied the case of twenty-two human subjects, focusing on their brain’s electrical activity in reaction to words in different languages (known and/or foreign). After their experiments, they have come to the conclusion that one’s neuron network encodes information about new words faster if one masters more than one language. In other words, the speed at which the brain processes information would depend on the subject’s linguistic background.  




  1. The subjects of the experiment listened to recordings of different words in different languages with electrodes placed on their heads.  

  1. Changes in the brain’s activity were tracked by the experts, focusing on the brain’s speed to readjust its activity to react to unknown words.  

  1. Researchers found out that the brain’s electrical activity was higher for the participants who already knew foreign languages.  


Therefore, the more languages someone masters, the faster his or her neuron network codes new information.  


I am currently not convinced by this research. The experiment was conducted on a very small group of students. We only know the average age of the subjects so we have no precision about if the experiment is applicable for older or younger people. Also, the conclusion is based on only one experiment and not a lot of varied tests. 



Link to the article:





I find this a very interesting topic that not many people may know about! I was intrigued when I read the title.
After reading what you wrote, in my opinion, arguments 1 and 2 were inductively weak because there wasn't really a connection between the premises and the conclusion. The reason why I am saying that is because those arguments don't really support the conclusion, in the sense that they say what is happening but don't give a result or justification. For example, you said "The subjects of the experiment listened to recordings of different words in different languages with electrodes placed on their heads." How does this prove your conclusion that "the more languages someone masters, the faster his or her neuron network codes new information"? You are stating something that happened, but it does not say for example the result of putting electrodes on their heads. So, in my head this does not serve as a strong argument that supports the conclusion and I also feel the same way about the second argument.
As for the 3rd premise/argument, I feel as though it is saying the same thing as the conclusion, but in different words therefore it seems like a fallacy, more specifically circularity.
I would love for you to explain your side of things so that I can fully understand this article summary! As mentioned before this is very intriguing and I wouldn't want you to hesitate to comment back.
Thank you for your time,

The topic you chose is pretty cool. I feel like your summary was very well written, and that you really did a good job at laying out what you thought the conclusion, issue and premises were of the text. Although you standardized this argument pretty well, i feel like the conclusion shouldn't be accepted right away, because of the fact that the size of the sample was only 22 and there is billions of people in this world, so i don't think its safe to assume that this conclusion right for everybody based on an experiment done on 22 people. altogether though i really found your summary good.

I really enjoyed reading your summary and the article. It is something new that i have never really thought of before now. As said before your little is what got me to read this. The only thing I have to say is, I feel as though your premises are well written but they tell us the process of how the researchers conducting the experiment and not really telling us why "more languages someone masters, the faster his or her neuron network codes new information.'' After reading the article I realized that its because they do not provide you with much explanation other the process of the experiment. Also as you said I also feel like the sample of people they took was not sufficient for the results. We do not now from what ethnicity they are from also students are a very specific group. Some don't now as many languages as adults. I would love to discuss this more if you have the chance, feel free to comment back.


You summary and the article are really relevant and interesting. Good work on this one! Although you did some great work, I feel like the size of the sample used for the experiment is too small. In fact, doing a generalization fallacy based on 22 person makes the conclusion weak. I know that the article is not telling it but, it would have been nice if the study would have at least describe their sample like if they are from the different backgrounds, ages etc. Also, I did not checked much more but, it could be really relevant to know if there has been other experiments that supports the conclusion. Great work, keep it up!

Hello! I was very intrigued by the subject that your article was about and I find that you very well explained and summarized it. Although, I am not sure about the connection with first premise in relation to the conclusion. I am not sure why this proves that the brain processes information faster. I could have misunderstood your premise and I would be happy to discuss this with you. Again well done!

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