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The study may help doctors to measure how well patients suffering from language disorder have recovered by observing blood flow levels in certain parts of the brain.
The team, led by Associate Prof. Kuniyoshi Sakai of the University of Tokyo, studied blood flow levels in left prefrontal cortex of native-Japanese speakers as they took grammar tests both in English and Japanese.
The left prefrontal cortex is known to be responsible for language understanding, regardless of which one the person is speaking in.
The team worked with 29 right-handed native Japanese speakers in two age groups: 13-year-olds and 19-year-olds. All of the subjects had studied English only in Japan and started learning the language at the age of …