New Method to Study Brain and Language

gettyimages 98359086 s tThis week, Science Daily summarized research published in the Journal of Neurophysiology describing “a new method to analyze brain imaging data — one that may paint a clearer picture of how our brain produces and understands language.”

Since the early 1990s, medical professionals and neuroscientists have used “functional magnetic resonance imaging”, or fMRI, to diagnose a variety of brain disorders and to research how the brain actually works. Based on conventional MRI developed in the 1970s, fMRI creates detailed images of activity in the brain generated from even the slightest stimulation, ranging from sounds, to visual images, to touch.

Understandably, fMRI has become a valuable tool for learning how the brain processes language.

According to researchers at MIT, even fMRI can’t always tell whether a particular “activation ‘blob’” is handling language, arithmetic, music or some combination. By using nonword sentences like “BOKER DESH HE THE DRILES LER CICE FRISTY’S” together with fMRI, these researchers are beginning to discover what the language areas in the brain are really doing.

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Duane Sider

Duane Sider, director of learning for Rosetta Stone Ltd., is passionate about changing the way the world views language learning. In his role, Duane has introduced Rosetta Stone® solutions and the joy of the language-learning journey to a variety of audiences through numerous speaking engagements worldwide. Additionally, Duane has authored a number of articles and papers on immersion methodology in second-language acquisition. Duane joined the company’s international operations in 1997, became director of learning in 2003, directing domestic and international training programs, and assumed his current responsibilities in 2008. Prior to joining Rosetta Stone he taught literature, philosophy and aesthetics at the university level for 14 years. Throughout his career, Duane has traveled, performed and taught extensively throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, promoting international communication and advocating new technologies in education. Duane holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Messiah College and a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Virginia. He has written two plays, a collection of poetry and manages a theater company in Virginia.
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