The presence or absence of a unique brain signal after a listener has heard some speech indicates whether or not that listener has understood what has been said. The discovery has a number of practical applications, including tracking language development, assessing brain function post-injury, and confirming whether important instructions have been understood in high-pressure jobs.
When and where did humans develop language? To find out, look deep inside caves, suggests an MIT professor.
For couples with decades of shared memories, a partner's decline in the ability to communicate because of dementia is frightening and frustrating. Communication strategies they've used before simply don't work anymore. By getting creative, an in-home intervention to support couples affected by dementia is showing that 'practice does make perfect,' both for the caregiver and the care receiver or person with dementia, and can improve their communication behaviors in just 10 weeks.
Researchers have made a major breakthrough in the assessment of language development among bilingual families and in the identification of those children who require extra support to improve their language skills.
Studying data from Twitter, University of Illinois researchers found that less people tweet per capita from larger cities than in smaller ones, indicating an unexpected trend that has implications in understanding urban pace of life.
A paper called 'Algorithms in the historical emergence of word senses'--that appears online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)--is the first to look at 1,000 years of English development and detect the kinds of algorithms that human minds have used to extend existing words to new senses of meaning. This kind of 'reverse engineering' of how human language has developed could have implications for natural language processing by machines.
A stroke in a baby -- even a big one -- does not have the same lasting impact as a stroke in an adult. A study led by Georgetown University Medical Center investigators found that a decade or two after a 'perinatal' stroke damaged the left 'language' side of the brain, affected teenagers and young adults used the right sides of their brain for language.
MIT cognitive scientists have now found that conversation between an adult and a child appears to change the child's brain, and that this back-and-forth conversation is actually more critical to language development than the '30-million-word gap.'
Few research efforts have focused on interventions for adults, but a new six-year collaborative trial tested two treatments for adults with autism -- and found strong, but different, results.
The researchers tapped big data tools to conduct text analyses of nearly 40,000 Twitter users, and to run online experiments of behavior of people who provided their Twitter handles.