Stimulate my ventral striatum!

Take a look at where my ventral striatum is located:



You knew it was there didn’t you!

It’s a part of the brain of course, and it’s situated just below the dorsal striatum. Naturally.

The good news is that we all have brains – cue the debate! – and all brains have a ventrial striatum. Why is that good news? Because it means we can get pleasure out of language learning.


Researchers found that the process of learning a language and acquiring a wider vocabulary has the effect of stimulating the same part of the brain as having sex or eating chocolate.

So says this article published last month. It goes on:

Scientists from Spain and Germany found people who expand their vocabulary trigger a part of the brain known as the ventral striatum, a pleasure centre that is activated when people are involved in activities such as sex, drugs, gambling or eating sugary foods.

Researchers from Barcelona’s Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute and Otto von Guericke University in Germany conducted trials on 36 adults who participated in gambling simulations and language-based tests.

Scans carried out after the tests, showed that both activities stimulated the same parts of the brain.

I wonder if multi linguists have larger ventrial striatums!

Or should that be striata?! Maybe I should ask someone with a bigger one than my own.

Until next time readers,


Jim Porter is a co-founder of Speekee®, home of the most comprehensive Spanish learning program for children ever to appear online

Jim began his Spanish learning journey in 1990. He has been a language teacher since 1994 and he lives in sunny southern Spain with his two bilingual children. Loves it! More…


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