Friday, February 7, 2020

Brain & Native Language, 2

The girls who were Chinese native speakers and the girls who were adopted from Chinese mothers into French families, showed (by fMRI) activation in a portion of the brain crucial for processing sounds (the left superior temporal gyrus). Girls adopted from Chinese mothers into French families showed activation in the left superior temporal gyrus — an area crucial for processing sounds — that was identical to that of the Chinese native speakers. The French speakers, who were not sensitive to tones in the same way as Chinese speakers, showed activation in the right superior temporal gyrus. According to the researchers, the similarity between Chinese adoptees and Chinese speakers illustrates that early acquired language information is maintained in the brain and that early experiences unconsciously influence neural processing for years, if not indefinitely. Based on the conclusions of this study, my guess it that you would have an advantage in learning to speak Chinese now.

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