How does the brain process speech? We now know the answer, and it’s fascinating

Neuroscientists have known that speech is processed in the auditory cortex for some time, along with some curious activity within the motor cortex. How this last cortex is involved though, has been something of a mystery, until now. A new study by two NYU scientists reveals one of the last holdouts to a process of [...]

By |2018-06-03T15:22:41+00:00June 3rd, 2018|Language, Neuroscience, Speech, The brain|0 Comments

The Brain Has Its Own “Autofill” Function for Speech

The world is an unpredictable place. But the brain has evolved a way to cope with the everyday uncertainties it encounters—it doesn’t present us with many of them, but instead resolves them as a realistic model of the world. The body’s central controller predicts every contingency, using its stored database of past experiences, to minimize [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:22:04+00:00May 4th, 2017|Communication, Language, Neuroscience, Speech|0 Comments

New Study of the Words “A” and “The” Sheds Light on Language Acquisition

And one more question: When kids start using language, how much of their know-how is intrinsic, and how much is acquired by listening to others speak? Now a study co-authored by an MIT professor uses a new approach to shed more light on this matter — a central issue in the area of language acquisition. [...]

By |2017-04-08T13:03:20+00:00April 8th, 2017|Language, Language acquisition, Neuroscience|0 Comments

6 Potential Brain Benefits Of Bilingual Education

Brains, brains, brains. One thing we've learned at NPR Ed is that people are fascinated by brain research. And yet it can be hard to point to places where our education system is really making use of the latest neuroscience findings. But there is one happy nexus where research is meeting practice: Bilingual education. "In [...]

Brain ‘reads’ sentence same way in 2 languages

When the brain “reads” or decodes a sentence in English or Portuguese, its neural activation patterns are the same, researchers report. Published in NeuroImage, the study is the first to show that different languages have similar neural signatures for describing events and scenes. By using a machine-learning algorithm, the research team was able to understand [...]

By |2016-11-07T12:17:18+00:00November 7th, 2016|Languages, Neuroscience, The brain|0 Comments

In the brain, one area sees familiar words as pictures, another sounds out words

Skilled readers can quickly recognize words when they read because the word has been placed in a visual dictionary of sorts which functions separately from an area that processes the sounds of written words, say Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) neuroscientists. The visual dictionary idea rebuts a common theory that our brain needs to "sound [...]

Synaesthesia could help us understand how the brain processes language

When we speak, listen, read, or write, almost all of the language processing that happens in our brains goes on below the level of conscious awareness. We might be aware of grasping for a particular forgotten word, but we don’t actively think about linguistic concepts like morphemes (the building blocks of words, like the past [...]

Scientists explore how brains work during conversations

As every portrait painter knows, the slightest change in the shape of eyebrows, the curvature of lips or a crease in the forehead can alter the expression of a person's face — and affect how someone else responds. Yale University neuroscientist Joy Hirsch said scientists would like to understand the neurocircuitry behind this interaction between [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:23:36+00:00June 25th, 2015|Neuroscience|0 Comments