George Clooney: The older, the better—we’re talking about the beard!

We all want to age gracefully, don’t we? Well, there is a way to do that! A new research published in the Journal of Neurolinguistics shows that learning a new language could strengthen your brain, thereby making the process of aging a lot more graceful. A new language changes your brain network both structurally and functionally, the findings showed.

According to Ping Li, a professor at Pennsylvania State University, the more you use specific areas of your brain, the more it grows and gets stronger. The researchers studied 39 native English speakers’ brains over a six-week period, out of which half the participants learned Chinese vocabulary. Of those learning the new vocab, those who were more successful in attaining the information showed a more connected brain network than both the less successful participants and those who did not learn the new vocabulary.

Li added that, contrary to previous studies, the brain is much more plastic than we thought and learning a new language can help lead to more graceful aging.