Johan Mårtensson of Lund University, Sweden presents at the CBBC seminar on 11/11/16. His abstract can be found below:
Developments from the last two decades has made it possible to measure the human brain in vivo during learning. This talk will feature findings from the Swedish Armed Forces Language School, where structural brain change was observed following 3 months of highly intense language studies. These changes were different for participants depending on study situation, with larger increases in the left superior temporal gyrus and right hippocampus for more proficient language learners. Participants who struggled with their language studies showed a larger increase in cortical thickness in the left middle frontal gyrus. A follow up study made use of app-based training during less intense language training, with local increase in the right hippocampus. Change in this cohort was primarily related to time spent training, rather than acquired knowledge. I will also discuss how language related changes are confounded by cyclical hormonal effects on brain structure, and developments that show that plasticity isn’t necessary linear and can depend on predispositions in brain structure.