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Nouns and verbs are learned in different parts of the brain
Date:2/25/2010

Two Spanish psychologists and a German neurologist have recently shown that the brain that activates when a person learns a new noun is different from the part used when a verb is learnt. The scientists observed this using brain images taken using functional magnetic resonance, according to an article they have published this month in the journal Neuroimage.

"Learning nouns activates the left fusiform gyrus, while learning verbs switches on other regions (the left inferior frontal gyrus and part of the left posterior medial temporal gyrus)", Antoni Rodrguez-Fornells, co-author of the study and an ICREA researcher at the Cognition and Brain Plasticity Unit of the University of Barcelona, tells SINC.

The Catalan researcher, along with psychologist Anna Mestres-Miss, who is currently working at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, and neurologist Thomas F. Mnte from the Otto-von-Guericke University in Magdeburg, in Germany, have just published the results of their study confirming the neural differences in the map of the brain when a person learns new nouns and verbs in the journal Neuroimage.

The team knew that many patients with brain damage exhibit dissociation in processing these kinds of words, and that children learn nouns before verbs. Adults also perform better and react faster to nouns during cognitive tests.

Based on these ideas, the researchers devised an experiment to confirm whether these differences could be seen in the brain. To do this, they set 21 people a test to learn new nouns and verbs, and recorded their neural reactions using functional magnetic resonance imaging. This technique makes it possible to observe how regions of the brain activate while a person is carrying out a specific task.

The test consisted of working out the meaning of a new term based on the context provided in two sentences. For example, in the phrase "The girl got a jat
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Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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