The relationship between bilingual experience and gyrification in adulthood: A cross-sectional surface-based morphometry study

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Abstract

Neuroimaging evidence suggests that bilingualism may act as a source of neural plasticity. However, prior work has mostly focused on bilingualism-induced alterations in gray matter volume and white matter tract microstructure, with additional effects related to other neurostructural indices that might have remained undetected. The degree of cortical folding or gyrification is a morphometric parameter which provides information about changes on the brain's surface during development, aging and disease. We used Surface-based Morphometry (SBM) to investigate the contribution of bilingual experience to gyrification from early adulthood to old age in a sample of bilinguals and monolingual controls. Despite widespread cortical folding reductions for all participants with increasing age, preserved gyrification exclusive to bilinguals was detected in the right cingulate and entorhinal cortices, regions vulnerable with normal and pathological brain aging. Our results provide novel insights on experience-related cortical reshaping and bilingualism-induced cortical plasticity in adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104680
JournalBrain and Language
Volume198
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Bilingualism
  • Cingulate cortex
  • Entorhinal cortex
  • Gyrification
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Surface-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing

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