Tag Archives: language

What’s the point? Cognitive advantage

Neuroscientists have long wondered why some behaviours are mostly controlled by one side of the brain. This phenomenon is called brain lateralization. For centuries we have known that damage to the left but not the right side

Abbreviations students use in their everyday language

Abbreviations students use in their everyday language. AoS

Being a student is a time full of new revelations and experiences where individuals get to know the world and themselves better. Communication for students is a way to explore and understand each other, so every student

High-quality interactions with caregivers linked to larger vocabularies among toddlers born preterm

In the United States, approximately 1 in every 10 infants is born preterm. The smallest and youngest of these children at birth are at risk for delays in their development. For example, as a group, these children are

How does your brain control interference from irrelevant information?

Given the continuous flux of visual information that competes for our attention in the everyday world, some form of attentional selection is needed to allow us to focus on what is relevant and ignore distracting information. This

Proofread or Perish: Editing your scientific writing for successful publication

Perhaps the consequences of neglecting to proofread and edit scientific writing may not be quite as catastrophic as my heading implies, but viewed from a perspective focussed on successful publication, they can be most unpleasant and are

“I feel blue”: The problem of using figurative language in psychological tests

Ever had difficulty describing a nagging worry or burst of joy?  Emotions are hard to describe with literal language, so people often use figurative language: I’m feeling up today, but she’s got the blues.  However, when figurative

Voice modulation: A window into the origins of human vocal control?

Men and women with low pitched and resonant voices are stereotypically judged as dominant, physically large, and masculine. Our voice pitch even affects how competent and trustworthy we seem. These stereotypes appear intricately linked to the fact

Plosive consonants in L2 English: a problematic area for CG speakers?

Second language (L2) users often experience a great degree of difficulty in identifying non-native phonological segments that do not form phonological distinctions in the first language (L1). These difficulties are typically related to factors relevant to Universal

Deaf people are more likely to be left-handed – unless they are also signers

The hand that we prefer to use – the right or the left one – speaks about how our brain is organized. For example, if we are strongly right-handed (i.e., we prefer the right hand for almost

How localizable are language brain areas?

The interest in understanding how language is “localized” in the brain has existed for centuries. During the late 19th and early 20th century, the brain’s language area was thought to correspond to the region around the Sylvian

The origins of dialog: mothers in 11 countries respond contingently to their babies’ vocalizations

Mothers’ speech to babies is known to promote their language skills and stimulate brain development. Mother-baby speech has been studied a lot in the United States, but less is known about mother-baby speech in other countries. This

Left-handers, you are not smarter after all!

People often wonder who is smarter: right-handers or left-handers? In order to answer this question, we tried to find out whether left-handers are over-represented in groups of people who have very high IQ (and who are sometimes

Voice changes in real speaking situations during a day with and without vocal loading

Employment in the modern world is characterized by an increasing number of employees working in professions that require continuous and intense vocal usage. Among these vocally demanding professions (in which voice is a main professional tool) one

Recursion. How did it evolve?

“It was a dark and stormy night. The crew said to the captain, “Captain, tell us a story.” The captain said to the crew, ‘It was a dark and stormy night …” -A story from popular culture

The gestural origins of language

How language evolved is one of the big mysteries of science. Other species communicate, but none can create anything like the variety and complexity of human language. There seems no limit to the number of things we