Navigation Links
The brain against words in the mirror
Date:3/31/2011

Most people can read texts reflected in a mirror slowly and with some effort, but a team of scientists from the Basque Centre on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL) has shown for the first time that we can mentally turn these images around and understand them automatically and unconsciously, at least for a few instants.

"At a very early processing stage, between 150 and 250 milliseconds, the visual system completely rotates the words reflected in the mirror and recognises them", Jon Andoni Duabeitia, lead author of the study, tells SINC, "although the brain then immediately detects that this is not the correct order and 'remembers' that it should not process them in this way".

In order to carry out this study, which has been published in the journal NeuroImage, the researchers used electrodes to monitor the brain activity of 27 participants while carrying out two experiments in front of a computer screen.

In the first, the participants were shown words with some of the letters and other information rotated for 50 milliseconds (an imperceptible flash, which is processed by the brain); while in the second case the entire word in the mirror was rotated (for example HTUOM instead of MOUTH).

The results of the encephalogram showed in both cases that, at between 150 and 250 milliseconds, the brain's response upon seeing the words as reflected in the mirror was the same as when they are read normally.

Better understanding of dyslexia

"These results open a new avenue for studying the effects of involuntary rotation of letters and words in individuals with reading difficulties (dyslexia) and writing problems (dysgrafia)", Duabeitia explains.

The researcher gives reassurance to parents who worry when their children reverse their letters when they start to write: "This is the direct result of the mirror rotation property of the visual system". In fact, it is common for children to start to write this way until they learn the "established" forms at school.

"Now we know that rotating letters is not a problem that is exclusive to some dyslexics, since everybody often does this in a natural and unconscious way, but what we need to understand is why people who can read normally can inhibit this, while others with difficulties in reading and writing cannot, confusing 'b' for 'd', for example", explains Duabeitia.

The scientific community has yet to discover how reading, a skill that is learnt relatively late in human development, can inhibit mental rotation in a mirror, a visual capacity that is common to many animals.

"A tiger is a tiger on the right side and the left side, but a word read in the mirror loses its meaning although now we know that it is not as incomprehensible for our visual system as we thought, because it is capable of processing it as if it were correct", the researcher concludes.


'/>"/>

Contact: SINC
sinc@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Penn biophysicists create new model for protein-cholesterol interactions in brain and muscle tissue
2. During exercise, the human brain shifts into high gear on alternative energy
3. Millisecond brain signals predict response to fast-acting antidepressant
4. Food for thought -- regulating energy supply to the brain during fasting
5. Risk and reward compete in brain
6. Brainy genes, not brawn, key to success on mussel beach
7. Brain-nourishing molecule may predict schizophrenia relapse
8. Brain structure provides key to unraveling function of bizarre dinosaur crests
9. MU brain imaging center provides research for autism, schizophrenia and Parkinsons disease
10. Key to function of dinosaur crests found in brain structure
11. Emotion and scent create lasting memories -- even in a sleeping brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The brain against words in the mirror
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, ... partnership that will provide end customers with a more ... payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) ... financial services, but it also plays a fundamental part in ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 2016  A new partnership announced today will ... decisions in a fraction of the time it ... high-value life insurance policies to consumers without requiring ... Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) ... pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys ... founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned ... of the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology ... of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of ... to the company. Dr. Bready served as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is ... treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 ... countries. Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, ... of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design ... of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... from two Phase 1 clinical trials of its ... double-blind, placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies ... and pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy ... APL-2 subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, the NASDAQ Composite ... Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to finish at 17,780.83; ... has initiated coverage on the following equities: Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARLZ ), ... more about these stocks by accessing their free trade alerts ...
Breaking Biology Technology: