Judith GrDr. Judith Großmann - Psychologist M.Sc.
Network Aging Research
Bergheimer Straße 20
D-69115 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 (0)6221 54 8128

Fellows: Prof. Dr. Patric Meyer, Dr. Birgit Teichmann

Effects of language learning on cognition in healthy older adults

In comparison to monolinguals bilinguals show better performances in executive functions, an umbrella term for abilities such as planning or inhibition of actions. Some studies even point to a four to five year delay in diagnosis of a dementia in bilinguals. However, it is not clear whether these effects are due to bilingualism or to other influences such as immigration or education, because in most studies only associations have been considered.

This question can be addressed by intervention studies, which compare a condition before and after an intervention – such as learning of a language. Although native-like language performance may not be achieved with this approach, it may provide more information regarding the effects of bilingualism on cognition. At the same time, this approach can help investigate whether language learning has the ability to improve cognitive functioning in the elderly similarly to cognitive training.

Therefore, my dissertation will investigate the effects of language learning on gnition in healthy older adults.



  • Grossmann, J. A., Aschenbrenner, S., Teichmann, B.*, & Meyer, P*. (2023b). Foreign language learning can improve response inhibition in individuals with lower baseline cognition: Results from a randomized controlled superiority trial. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 15, Article 1123185. *shared last authorship
  • Degirmenci, M. G., Grossmann, J. A., Meyer, P., & Teichmann, B. (2022). The role of bilingualism in executive functions in healthy older adults: A systematic review. International Journal of Bilingualism, 136700692110512.
  • Grossmann, J., A., Koelsch, V. M., Degirmenci, M. G., Aschenbrenner, S., Teichmann, B. & Meyer, P. (2021).  Effects of foreign language learning on executive functions in healthy older adults: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMC Geriatrics 21(1), 122.
  • Aschenbrenner, S., Schilling, T. M., Grossmann, J., Heck, T. & Bossert, M. (2020). Psychische Störungen nach erworbener ZNS-Schädigung. PSYCH up2date 14(04), 287–303. https://10.1055/a-0859-1692.



since 01/2021 Clinical Neuropsychologist at the MediClin Rehabilitation Center Gernsbach
2018 - 2020 Clinical Neuropsychologist at the SRH Clinic Karlsbad-Langensteinbach
since 2017 Doctoral student at the Network Aging Research (NAR), University of Heidelberg
2017 Psychologist at the University Hospital Freiburg, Clinic for Neurology and Neurophysiology
2014 - 2017  Master of Science in Psychology from the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg
2011 - 2014 Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
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Latest Revision: 2024-02-05
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