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How much does a person's language influence their other brain functions?

Asked by FireMadeFlesh (16548points) April 14th, 2010

In the book Consciousness Explained by Daniel Dennett, he states that at birth, a human brain starts to model itself into an ‘English Brain’, or a ‘Chinese Brain’ and so on for each language. Does a person’s native language influence brain functions other than just language?

For example many of my Asian background friends, who still speak English first language, are able to wrote learn much more readily than I am, but are not as good with spatial reasoning. Is this a genetic difference, a language-related learned difference, or just statistical variations within my group of friends?

Does the structure of language, for example Greek’s multiple words for then English word ‘love’, affect the way a Greek person would think to themselves about the concept of love when compared to a native English speaker? Would they have a different formulation of the concept, or just a different way of describing essentially similar thoughts?

Apologies for rambling. For a little more background, as if it is needed, this question is in reaction to this article.

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