Navigation Links
Familiar and newly learned words are processed by the same neural networks in the brain
Date:8/28/2009

Our vocabulary continues to grow and expand even in adulthood. Just ten years ago, the word 'blog' did not yet exist and now we no longer remember when we heard this word for the first time or when we learned its meaning. At some stage new words become just as familiar to us as words we have learned earlier. One of the areas of interest in the Academy of Finland's Neuroscience Research Programme (NEURO) is how the process of learning new words is reflected in the function of the brain.

The new research evidence emerging about how the brain processes language and its different levels has important application among other things in the development of language teaching.

In one of the experiments conducted in the NEURO programme, participants learned the name and/or purpose of 150 ancient tools. They had never heard these words before. The subjects' brain function was measured by means of magnetoencelography during the naming of the tools, both before and after the learning period.

The results show that the brain uses the same neural networks to process both familiar and newly learned words. The names of objects were processed in the left temporal and frontal lobe within half a second of showing the image of the tool to the subject. "If the subject had only recently learned the name of the tool, the the naming process induced an activation that was just as strong or stronger than the activation induced by the image of a familiar object," says Academy Professor Riitta Salmelin, HUT Low Temperature Laboratory, who is in charge of the research.

According to Salmelin the learning of the meaning of ancient tools did not cause corresponding clear differences in the function of the brain. In other words, it seems that the processing of meanings in the brain differs essentially from the processing of names. On the other hand, the performance results indicated that new definitions were learned even faster than new names.

How are learned words retained?

The research team are now working on a follow-up study to explore the retention of learned words. Is it possible to detect in brain activation some specific phenomenon that predicts good retention of learned knowledge up to several months after learning?

"We are also conducting a separate series of experiments to find out how our brain learns phonetic structures and, on the other hand, how the brain learns to identify letter combinations that are typical of a certain language," Riitta Salmelin explains.

Another area of interest in the ongoing study is the role of grammar in language learning. The focus here is to explore how the brain learns to use the vocabulary and grammatical structure of an experimental miniature language.


'/>"/>

Contact: Professor Riitta Salmelin
riitta@neuro.hut.fi
358-945-12950
Academy of Finland
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. A Third of Medicare Clients Unfamiliar With Benefits
2. Jan Marini Skin Research Gives Familiar Logo a Facelift
3. Carnegie Mellon study identifies where thoughts of familiar objects occur inside the human brain
4. Brain Area Recognizes Familiar Sounds
5. Newly discovered mechanism in cell division has implications for chromosomes role in cancer
6. MRI may be unnecessary prior to treatment in most newly diagnosed breast cancer patients
7. Newly Published Research Indicates 97% of Apraxic Children Improving with Novel Nutritional Combination
8. Exploring Newly Found Freedom with the GaitAid for Parkinson's Disease
9. Nephrologists Indicate High Interest in AMAG Pharmaceuticals Newly Approved Feraheme According to Latest BioTrends Report
10. Zogenix and Astellas Enter Exclusive Co-Promotion Agreement in the US for Newly Approved Sumavel(TM) DosePro(TM)
11. ONRAD Announces Newly Bundled Services for a Single Package Price
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... This campaign aims to provide a path to improved education ... control and change. , As nearly 795,000 Americans suffering from a new or recurrent ... Plus, with an estimated 129,000 of these people dying from stroke, it’s become our ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Aimed at nurses and employees ... stories, courtesy of leaders in the nursing and health care industry. It also ... advocates and associations—namely Jones & Bartlett Learning. , Jones & Bartlett Learning is ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Despite last week’s media reports ... Yellen and company to wait until March 2017 for an interest rate increase, according ... Robinson College of Business. , “The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) dot charts are ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... and clinical outcomes, hosted members and suppliers for its inaugural Member Conference at ... on their mission of elevating the operational health of America’s healthcare providers. , ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Florida (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... House® Project offering a new model of care for living and healing, celebrated ... core values: Meaningful Life in a Real Home provided by Empowered Staff. , “This ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Inc. ... Regenerative Medicine, Neurology and Orphan Diseases, today announced that President & ... upcoming investor conferences: SeeThru Equity MicroCap Conference   ... New York City , NY When: Tuesday, May ... Conference   Where: Grand Hyatt Hotel, 109 East 42 ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... NASHVILLE, Tenn. , May 26, 2016 ... provider of software and analytics, network solutions ... healthcare, today announced it entered into a ... leading provider of outpatient software solutions and ... surgery centers, specialty hospitals and rehabilitation clinics ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , Germany and GERMANTOWN, ... QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN ; Frankfurt Prime Standard: ... licensing and co-development agreement with Therawis Diagnostics GmbH to develop ... be to develop and market PITX2 as a marker to ... high-risk breast cancer patients. "We are pleased to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: