Learning a new language is no simple feat, especially the older you get. Fortunately, a recent Futurism article reported on a new way to increase your brain’s ability to learn a language, and it appears to really work. A new study published in Science of Learning, showed that stimulating the vagus nerve with specially designed ear pieces improved adults’ ability to recognize foreign language tones. The interesting part is that the effect lasted even after the stimulation ceased.
The researchers saw a 13% improvement in distinguishing Mandarin tones compared to a control group that didn’t receive brain stimulation. “In general, people tend to get discouraged by how hard language learning can be, but if you could give someone 13 percent to 15 percent better results after their first session, maybe they’d be more likely to want to continue,” said Matthew Leonard, a co-author of the study.