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Bilingualism at the core of the brain: structural differences between bilinguals and monolinguals revealed by subcortical shape analysis

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dc.contributor.author Burgaleta Díaz, Miguel, 1981-
dc.contributor.author Sanjuán, Ana
dc.contributor.author Ventura Campos, Noelia
dc.contributor.author Sebastián Gallés, Núria
dc.contributor.author Ávila, César
dc.date.accessioned 2016-02-09T07:55:22Z
dc.date.available 2016-02-09T07:55:22Z
dc.date.issued 2016
dc.identifier.citation Burgaleta M, Sanjuán A, Ventura-Campos N, Sebastian-Galles N, Ávila C. Bilingualism at the core of the brain: structural differences between bilinguals and monolinguals revealed by subcortical shape analysis. Neuroimage. 2016;125:437-445. DOI 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.09.073.
dc.identifier.issn 1053-8119
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10230/25754
dc.description.abstract Naturally acquiring a language shapes the human brain through a long-lasting learning and practice process. This is supported by previous studies showing that managing more than one language from early childhood has an impact on brain structure and function. However, to what extent bilingual individuals present neuroanatomical peculiarities at the subcortical level with respect to monolinguals is yet not well understood, despite the key role of subcortical gray matter for a number of language functions, including monitoring of speech production and language control — two processes especially solicited by bilinguals. Here we addressed this issue by performing a subcortical surface-based analysis in a sample of monolinguals and simultaneous bilinguals (N = 88) that only differed in their language experience from birth. This analysis allowed us to study with great anatomical precision the potential differences in morphology of key subcortical structures, namely, the caudate, accumbens, putamen, globus pallidus and thalamus. Vertexwise analyses revealed significantly expanded subcortical structures for bilinguals compared to monolinguals, localized in bilateral putamen and thalamus, as well as in the left globus pallidus and right caudate nucleus. A topographical interpretation of our results suggests that a more complex phonological system in bilinguals may lead to a greater development of a subcortical brain network involved in monitoring articulatory processes.
dc.description.sponsorship This work was supported by grants from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (JCI-2009-04492, PSI2010-20168), the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO-PSI2012-34071), the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) / ERC grant agreement n°323961, and Grup de Recerca en Neurociència Cognitiva (GRNC), AGAUR (2014 SGR 1210 N). M.B. was funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO-FPDI-2013-17528).
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Elsevier
dc.relation.ispartof NeuroImage. 2016;125:437-445.
dc.rights © Elsevier http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.09.073
dc.title Bilingualism at the core of the brain: structural differences between bilinguals and monolinguals revealed by subcortical shape analysis
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.09.073
dc.subject.keyword Basal Ganglia
dc.subject.keyword Thalamus
dc.subject.keyword Structural MRI
dc.subject.keyword Neuroanatomy
dc.subject.keyword Bilingualism
dc.relation.projectID info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/323961
dc.rights.accessRights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.type.version info:eu-repo/semantics/acceptedVersion


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