Human brain works heavy statistics learning language

A team at the University of Rochester has found that the human brain makes much more extensive use of highly complex statistics when learning a language than scientists ever realized. The research, appearing in a recent issue of Cognitive Psychology, shows that the human brain is wired to quickly grasp certain relationships between spoken sounds even though those relationships may be so complicated they're beyond our ability to consciously comprehend.

"We're starting to learn just how intuitively our minds are able to analyze amazingly complex information without our even being aware of it," says Elissa Newport, professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University and lead author of the study. "There is a powerful correlation between what our brains are able to do and what language demands of us."

Newport and Richard Aslin, professor of brain and cognitive sciences, began by looking at how people are able to recognize the division between spoken words when spoken language is really a stream of unbroken syllables. They wanted to know how it is that we perceive breaks between spoken words, when in fact there are no pauses. This is why it often seems as if speakers of foreign languages are talking very quickly; we don't perceive pauses.

So how is a baby supposed to make out where one word begins and another ends? Newport and Aslin devised a test where babies and adults listened to snippets of a synthetic language: a few syllables arranged into nonsense words and played in random order for 20 minutes. During that time, the listeners were taking in information about the syllables, such as how often each occurred, and how often they occurred in relation to other syllables. For instance, in the real words "pretty baby," the syllable "pre" is followed by "ty," which happens more frequently in English than the syllable "ty" being followed by "ba"--thus the brain notes that "ty" is more likely to be associated with "pre" than with "ba," and so we h

Contact: Jonathan Sherwood
University of Rochester

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Human chromosome 5 final sequence analysis released to public
2. Humans march to a faster genetic drummer than primates, UC Riverside research says
3. Applied Mathematical Models in Human Physiology
4. Human health risks in space flight focus of research internships
5. Human periodontal ligament stem cells isolated for the first time
6. Organization for Human Brain Mapping 2004 Annual Meeting
7. 20 May AAAS lecture: Computers that Respond to Human Emotion
8. New Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health established
9. European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference - June 2004
10. Human genome-wide RNAi library for biotech and pharma research
11. Human genetic sampling

Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/4/2017)... 4, 2017  GCE Solutions, a global clinical research organization (CRO), ... anonymization solution on October 4, 2017. Shadow is designed to assist ... with policy 0070 of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in meeting ... ... ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... 30, 2017 Today, American Trucking Associations ... of face and eye tracking software, became the ... program. "Artificial intelligence and advanced ... monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels while on the ... to detect fatigue and prevent potential accidents, which ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ... of online age and identity verification solutions, announced today ... Identity Conference 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, ... Building and International Trade Center. Identity ... globe and in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... SomaGenics announced the receipt of a Phase ... (Single Cell), expected to be the first commercially available ... from single cells using NGS methods. The NIH,s recent ... development of approaches to analyze the heterogeneity of cell ... for measuring levels of mRNAs in individual cells have ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... , ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 Bar Biologics ... at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten billion people ... to feed a growing nation. At the same time, many of our valuable resources ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... Arizona (PRWEB) , ... October ... ... 15 years’ experience providing advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and ... in-house expertise in application consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... On ... and webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive clinical trial for glioblastoma (GBM). The ... The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: