HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
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
jonathan.sherwood@rochester.edu
585-758-9510
University of Rochester
4-May-2004


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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Human brain works heavy statistics learning language

(Date:4/17/2014)... stem cell therapies to cure a variety of diseases ... based on cell surface markers. Researchers from the Finnish ... highly expressed in a type of stem cells derived ... an article in BioResearch Open Access , a ... article is available free on the BioResearch ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... developed at Sandia National Laboratories and recently licensed to ... cheaper. , Bacillus anthracis , the bacteria ... over the world and can cause serious, and often ... can survive in harsh conditions for decades. In humans, ... skin contact, inhalation of spores or eating contaminated meat. ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... produce hydrogen sulfide in order to properly multiply and ... the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at the Herman ... Shi, principal investigator on the project, said the presence ... flow of calcium ions. The essential ions activate a ... the creation of new bone tissue, and keeps the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Pocket-sized anthrax detector aids global agriculture 2Pocket-sized anthrax detector aids global agriculture 3
(Date:1/15/2014)... , January 15, 2014 A study has ... on the Formula 1 track could help to tackle the ... Technologies (MAT), Stowhealth (a GP surgery based in Stowmarket) and ... provider Simplyhealth. Telemetry technology, which is inspired by ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 15, 2014 Two champions of science, ... sponsorship of an annual competition for middle and high ... to, innovative STEM study. The competition presents students with ... of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Sciences is a ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... DTS Language Services, Inc . is pleased to ... Science organizations who need document translations. Clients will now ... documents in advance with a selection of nearly 50 life ... a critical factor in clinical and scientific fields, and decrease ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... Sunnyvale, CA (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 ... throughput research solutions, today announced that Lupin Limited, one ... of Freeslate’s CM Protégé PharmD System for ... in Mumbai, India, is focused on a wide range ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Formula 1 Technology Tackles Obesity in Unique Healthcare Partnership 2Formula 1 Technology Tackles Obesity in Unique Healthcare Partnership 3Formula 1 Technology Tackles Obesity in Unique Healthcare Partnership 4Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 2Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 3Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 4Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 5DTS Improves Efficiency for Life Science Document Translations 2Lupin Selects Freeslate’s CM Protégé PharmD System to Accelerate Polymorph Screening for Drug Development 2Lupin Selects Freeslate’s CM Protégé PharmD System to Accelerate Polymorph Screening for Drug Development 3
Cached News: