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Urdu and Your Brain

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Did you know that a recent study claims that reading Urdu had several good effects on your brain?

Via The Times of India

Reading an Urdu couplet is not only a delight for your soul but also an elixir for your brain. A recent study by the Center for Bio-Medical Researches (CBMR), Lucknow, suggests that reading Urdu passages helps in brain development.
The work, which has made it to the recent edition of international journal ‘Neuroscience Letters’, has shown that reading the language involves predominant involvement of the frontal brain which controls a number of cognitive functions like decision making, the ability to determine good from bad, emotional control, coping with stress, processing information and analysing. Learning Urdu also has a role in delaying the onset of dementia, besides helping children with learning disabilities.
“We used grapheme-phoneme mapping which divides languages into ‘transparent’ (easy to learn) or ‘deep’ (difficult to learn). For example: Hindi and German are transparent while English and French are deep. Urdu is the deepest language and therefore reading it involves more areas of the brain, which is good for mental health,” said Kumar adding, “Urdu has two more advantages over others — visual complexity of letters and direction of writing.”
The work examined effects of graphene-phoneme mapping over neural regions in bilingual people and suggested that Hindi and Urdu made a good combination. “This works very well because they are mutually comprehensible languages and have a shared vocabulary,” Kumar said. Researchers at Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, have already shown that bilingualism delays the age of onset of Alzheimers and other dementia. It also found that the Urdu-Hindi combo was beneficial for children with learning disabilities, particularly dyslexia, as it improves functioning of the visual cortex.

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