Emily Chung has a CBC story reporting on an interesting discovery:
You may not recall any memories from the first year of life, but if you were exposed to a different language at the time, your brain will still respond to it at some level, a new study suggests.
Brain scans show that children adopted from China as babies into families that don’t speak Chinese still unconsciously recognize Chinese sounds as language more than a decade later.
“It was amazing to see evidence that such an early experience continued to have a lasting effect,” said Lara Pierce, lead author of the study published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in an email to CBC News.
The adopted children, who were raised in French-speaking Quebec families, had no conscious memory of hearing Chinese.
“If you actually test these people in Chinese, they don’t actually know it,” said Denise Klein, a researcher at McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Institute who co-authored the paper.
But their brains responded to Chinese language sounds the same way as those of bilingual children raised in Chinese-speaking families.
Only a preliminary study, but certainly suggestive. (Thanks, Kobi!)