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:7/20/2017)... 2017 Delta (NYSE: DAL ) customers now can ... at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). ... Delta launches biometrics to board aircraft at Reagan ... Delta,s biometric boarding pass experience that ... now integrated into the boarding process to allow eligible Delta SkyMiles Members ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym for ... has been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . The ... and the USA . The technology was ... the market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 ... Multimedia News Release, please click: ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... , April 24, 2017 Janice ... partner with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , ... or without President Trump,s March 6, 2017 ... Entry , refugee vetting can be instilled with greater ... (Right now, all refugee applications are suspended by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... For the second ... a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, ... from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017 SomaGenics ... from the NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected ... for profiling small RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells ... Program highlights the need to accelerate development of approaches ... "New techniques for measuring levels ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today identification ... its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb loss ... Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted in ... as compared to standard bone marrow stem cell ... in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... of medical marijuana products targeting the needs of consumers who are incorporating medical ... takes place in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: