17 January 2018
The amazing benefits of bilingualism: At TEDxLondonBusinessSchool Professor Panos Athanasopoulos compares bilingualism to binocular vision and demonstrates how learning additional languages allows us to become attuned to perceptual dimensions that we weren't aware of before!

We don’t actually need two eyes to see, one will do the job just fine. But binocular vision expands your visual field and allows you to see in 3-D, making you much better at judging the distance and size of objects. Languages also work the same way. In his talk, Panos Athanasopoulos will explain how multilingualism empowers us, as humans, to become attuned to perceptual dimensions that we weren’t aware of before, allowing us to live in high definition.

Watch the talk: Multilingualism: Living Life in High Definition

Panos Athanasopoulos’ research is guided by two questions: Do speakers of different languages think differently? Do bilinguals think differently from monolinguals? He pursued these questions during his PhD at the University of Essex, where he developed and implemented a novel framework for studying the bilingual mind using a mixture of verbal and non-verbal tasks. This earned him a Graduate Student Award from the American Association for Applied Linguistics. During his first full time post at Bangor University in Wales he built on his multidisciplinary methodological expertise, and with colleagues, pioneered a novel experimental paradigm to study unconscious perception. He is now the Chair in Applied Linguistics at Lancaster University, where he directs the Perception and Learning Laboratory (PERLL). In the past 5 years, his projects have focused on the cognitive flexibility that learning new languages confers on the human mind.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx