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Technology and Health News > Friday, April-11-2008

Brain wave that reveals the mother tongue

Recognizing the native language of a person after the electrical waves in the brain!

By analyzing brain waves we can reveal the identity of an individual's language. Someone can involuntarily, because of a temporary amnesia or silence, or voluntarily, to try to avoid providing information on their origins. The discovery was made by Italian researchers and published on Biological Psychology. The study, coordinated by Alice Mado Proverb Electrophysiology Laboratory of the Department of cognitive psychology at the University of Milano-Bicocca, in collaboration with Roberta Adorni, and Alberto Zani, a researcher of the Institute of Physiology and Molecular Bioimaging of Cnr-Segrate in Milan , shows that there is a region of the brain, called "area for the visual form of words", which is located in the so-called fusiform cortex in the left occipital / temporal region of the brain. This automatically recognizes the shape of the letters and words, and it is very sensitive to levels of familiarity.

The research was conducted on 15 simultaneous Italian interpreters of the highest level. "We noticed that between 150 and 200 milliseconds after the presentation of a word, on the left visual region of the brain is observed the first wave of activity (called N170), which has a different size depending if the word belongs to the mother tongue or languages learned later, that is after 5 years of life, "says Mado Proverb. This phenomenon is due to the fact that learning the native language, monolingual people, occurs simultaneously with the acquisition of conceptual knowledge and regulations, as well as the body and sensory experiences, which are processed information from other areas of the brain, while 'learning a new language', after the formation of knowledge on the world, corresponds to the acquisition of information purely phonetic type (ie, hearing) and spelling (ie, graphic), and do not share the substrate neurobiological memory of the individual, except in an indirect way.

"The mother tongue of a person who does not speak", the researcher concludes, "can be deduced from its responsiveness to the words. The result is even more interesting when one considers that other methods used to identify the nationality of an individual on the basis of language tests (for example, pronunciation, knowledge of geographical and cultural facts) are now considered unreliable.

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Comments for Brain wave that reveals the mother tongue

Very interesting!

I think this is a very interesting study!
posted by MagicMaximo at Monday, April-21-2008 23:58pm

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