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Finding ‘lost’ languages in the brain

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Finding ‘lost’ languages in the brain

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An infant’s mother tongue creates neural patterns that the unconscious brain retains years later even if the child totally stops using the language, (as can happen in cases of international adoption) according to a new joint study by scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro and McGill University’s Department of Psychology. The study offers the first neural evidence that traces of the “lost” language remain in the brain.

“The infant brain forms representations of language sounds, but we wanted to see whether the brain maintains these representations later in life even if the person is no longer exposed to the language,” says Lara Pierce, a doctoral candidate at McGill University and first author on the paper. Her work is jointly supervised by Dr. Denise Klein at The Neuro and Dr. Fred Genesee in the Department of Psychology. The article, “Mapping the unconscious maintenance of a lost first language,” is in the November 17 edition of scientific journal Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The Neuro conducted and analyzed functional MRI scans of 48 girls between nine and 17 years old who were recruited from the Montreal area through the Department of Psychology. One group was born and raised unilingual in a French-speaking family. The second group had Chinese-speaking children adopted as infants who later became unilingual French speaking with no conscious recollection of Chinese. The third group were fluently bilingual in Chinese and French.

Scans were taken while the three groups listened to the same Chinese language sounds.

“It astounded us that the brain activation pattern of the adopted Chinese who ‘lost’ or totally discontinued the language matched the one for those who continued speaking Chinese since birth. The neural representations supporting this pattern could only have been acquired during the first months of life,” says Ms. Pierce. “This pattern completely differed from the first group of unilingual French speakers.”

images (1)

The study suggests that early-acquired information is not only maintained in the brain, but unconsciously influences brain processing for years, perhaps for life – potentially indicating a special status for information acquired during optimal periods of development. This could counter arguments not only within the field of language acquisition, but across domains, that neural representations are overwritten or lost from the brain over time.

The implications of this finding are far reaching, and open the door for questions relating both to the re-learning of an early acquired, but forgotten, language or skill, as well as the unconscious influence of early experiences on later developmental outcomes.

Maybe this can explain some of the problems children from abusive homes, can have. Even if they don`t remember what happened, the body still keeps the score decades later.

The study was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture, the G.W. Stairs Foundation and the Centre for Research on Brain Language and Mind.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lara J. Pierce, Denise Klein, Jen-Kai Chen, Audrey Delcenserie, and Fred Genesee. Mapping the unconscious maintenance of a lost first language.PNAS, November 17, 2014 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1409411111

The original article 

Baby pears and everything else

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15 of the World's Most Strange Abandoned Places - I.M. Cooling Tower, Belgium
15 of the World’s Most Strange Abandoned Places – I.M. Cooling Tower, Belgium
Growing pears like babies (in China)
Growing pears like babies (in China)

Strange
Giant Skeletons Found In Greece

The sound of care

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Empathy Is Necessary for a Good Life

This entry was posted on June 16, 2012, in EthicsMoralitysocial commentary and tagged. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments

“Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person. In those transparent moments we know other people’s joys and sorrows, and we care about their concerns as if they were our own,” explains Fritz Williams, Leader Emeritus of the Baltimore Ethical Society.

she saved over hundred children, because she could not watch them being tortured during world war 2
she saved over hundred children, because she could not watch them being tortured during world war two

Infants respond to the cries of other infants; toddlers are upset when they see another in distress. Young children try to soothe others who are hurt and adults wince when they see another injured. This ability to identify with the inner life of another begins at the dawn of self-awakening.

How lovely to find satisfaction in that which others have enjoyed. This ability to find happiness in another’s joy is a wonderful trait. And to taste another’s tears is crucial for the alleviation of suffering and the move towards social justice.

Empathy is essential for living well. It frees us from the bonds of isolation and, therefore, exaggerated fear. We know that we aren’t alone, that we are intimately bound to the fate of others and they with us. To participate in the pleasures and sorrows of someone we love is to know one of life’s great satisfactions. To imagine the misfortunes of those we don’t know personally is the basis of social justice.

Here is one of my favorite stories about empathy. It comes from Mark Salzburg’s Iron and Silk, his account of being a teacher in China. He gave this assignment to his students: write an essay about the happiest moment of your life. One student composed a rhapsody about eatingPeking duck while visiting the capital city.

“It was like clouds disappearing,” he wrote.

The teacher gave the student great praise, but after class the student came with a confession. He said that he had never been to the capital and he had never had Peking duck. But his wife had gone and she described the delicacy to him.

“She tells me about it again and again,” he said, “and I think, even though I was not there, it is my happiest moment.”

So here is a good question for meditation: What moves you to feel with another person?

The sound of validation

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This makes me want to be more environmentally friendly, haha
we are the most intelligent species on earth, so maybe we should act like it.
Occupy Sanity
Can you find the fault here?
http://occupyourhomes.org/

This blog is about inspiration. A lot of us want to make our life and others better, every day. Some of us get together and actually fight for this. But; There is often too little time, too much effort and a feeling of helplessness surrounding us when it comes to this. I have the belief, that we today have enough knowledge to actually "make the world a better place". We are capable 193f0c4e5eb72e262f5db6abb793ca96of flying to other planets, making food out of nothing, and curing diseases that people died of before. Still, as we see in the media every day, more and more people suffer. The division between rich and poor grows, and the news show us all the other dark sides: Rape, murder, corrupted politicians and war. After reading "no need to envy", a book about North-Korea: A country were some of the worst conditions imaginable actually exists, I felt anger soaring inside me. That some leaders can try to actually accomplish so much suffering today, is simply terrible. This rage led to a lot of thoughts and ideas, that I now share with the readers of this blog. If just one of you thinks this is a good idea, I would love to know.

601835_580478758651088_1235832139_n
Give a smile to a stranger, and you have taken part in the “validation project”

PROJECT VALIDATION

To introduce the idea, I will ask everyone to watch this short movie first. Even if it takes 18 minutes of your time, I really promise it is worth it (psychologists honor)

We go about our everyday lives wanting things to always be getting better. We hope that our work makes a difference and those who came before us are proud and we wish for our children to have more than what we were given. As anyone knows who has heard Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech—delivered fifty years ago this August~ dreams are at the center of any effort to make things better. And today we have something with more power than we might realize: The internet. It’s not without reason that China and North-Korea tried to keep their inhabitants away from news. The media also have immense power, and even if some might argue that they focus on the wrong things (making thin the new fashion, ignoring many crises out there) there still is so many good journalists out there, who really want to make the world a better place. Combine the knowledge, motivation the internet and the media and you have a wonderful recipe: People who actually do something.

So, this is all well and fine, but how does this help? What can I DO? If you have watched the movie, I give an option. Like we all help the world by sorting our paper and throw it in a separate garbage bin, thereby saving the rainforest, what about spreading validation around to others ? What happens when someone smiles at us? Research shows that our mirror-neurons respond automatically by creating a smile on your own lips. This means that smiling AT someone, actually MAKE them happier. Research also shows that being happy yourself, gives you more energy to be there for others. So, like in the video, I would challenge the readers of this blog to do JUST one nice thing for somebody else (preferably a stranger, because that would have the biggest impact) the next week. When you have done that, write WHAT you did, and if you want, leave your email at the end. This will be like signing a petition for releasing a political prisoners. For every one of you who does that, you might have made the world just a little better. This is what your story means: You are signing a petition for a better world!

English: Dr. Martin Luther King giving his
English: Dr. Martin Luther King giving his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington in Washington, D.C., on 28 August 1963.

ikipedia)

http://ageer370.wordpress.com/i-have-a-dream-the-metaphoric-power-of-martin-luther-king/

 

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