"Our results suggest that the left caudate monitors the language in use and increases its activation when there is a switch between languages. This shows that the area is signalling a change in language," Price claims.
Researchers did not detect increased activity in the right hemisphere's caudate. They suggest this is because the brain's language centres - that connect to and from the caudate - are located in the left hemisphere of the brain.
The left caudate's role in language processing is further backed up by the case of a trilingual woman with a damaged caudate region, who involuntarily switched between three different languages while speaking, says Price.
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