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Translational Neuroscience

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2081-6936
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Distinct activated cortical areas and volumes in Uygur-Chinese bilinguals

Mei Jiang
  • Department of Radiology, The Affiliated Nanshan Hospital of Guangdong Medical College, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518052, P. R. China
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/ Li-Xia Yang
  • Department of Imaging Science, Imaging Center, Xuhui Central Hospital, Shanghai 200031, P. R. China
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/ Lin Jia
  • Department of Imaging Science, Imaging Center, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830063, P. R. China
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/ Xin Shi
  • Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518000, P. R. China
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/ Hong Wang
  • Department of Imaging Science, Imaging Center, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830063, P. R. China
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/ Lin-yun Wang
  • Department of Imaging Science, Imaging Center, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830063, P. R. China
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/ Yari Abaydulla / Li-Na Zhu
  • Department of Imaging Science, Imaging Center, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830054, P. R. China
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/ Wen-Xiao Jia
  • Department of Imaging Science, Imaging Center, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830063, P. R. China
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Published Online: 2015-10-26 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tnsci-2015-0024

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate variations in cortical activation in early and late Uygur-Chinese bilinguals from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. Methodology: During a semantic judgment task with visual stimulation by a single Chinese or Uygur word, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed. The fMRI data regarding activated cortical areas and volumes by both languages were analyzed. Results: The first language (L1) and second language (L2) activated language-related hemispheric regions, including the left inferior frontal and parietal cortices, and L1 specifically activated the left middle temporal gyrus. For both L1 and L2, cortical activation was greater in the left hemisphere, and there was no significant difference in the lateralization index (LI) between the two languages (p > 0.05). Although the total activated cortical areas were larger in early than late bilinguals, the activation volumes were not significantly different. Conclusion: Activated brains areas in early and late fluent bilinguals largely overlapped. However, these areas were more scattered upon presentation of L2 than L1, and L1 had a more specific pattern of activation than L2. For both languages, the left hemisphere was dominant. We found that L2 proficiency level rather than age of acquisition had a greater influence on which brain areas were activated with semantic processing.

Keywords: Uygur-Chinese bilinguals; Uygur language; Chinese language; Semantic processing

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About the article

Received: 2015-01-16

Accepted: 2015-04-20

Published Online: 2015-10-26


Citation Information: Translational Neuroscience, ISSN (Online) 2081-6936, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tnsci-2015-0024.

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©2015 Mei Jiang et al.. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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