Brain systems responsible for our ability to learn language came into existence BEFORE humans, new study reveals

Mail Online | 1/30/2018 | Cheyenne Macdonald For
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The origins of humans' ability to learn language may be older than our species itself.

New research has found that language may be learned in ancient 'general purpose' brain circuits that emerged before humans existed, and can even be found in other animals.

Language - Mechanisms - Species - Findings - Case

It’s long been thought that human language relied solely on mechanisms found in our species – but, the new findings now suggest this may not be the case, after all.

In addition to the evolutionary implications, experts say the discovery could be used to help improve language learning for those who may have difficulties, including people with dyslexia and stroke-related damage.

Researchers - Georgetown - University - Medical - Center

Researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center analyzed the findings of 16 studies that examined language learning in two systems in the brain: declarative and procedural memory.

Declarative memory would be used, for example, to memorize a shopping list or remember a person’s face, while the latter would be used to learn a task, such as driving or playing an instrument.

Studies - Total - Participants - Number - Tasks

The studies accounted for a total of 665 participants across a number of tasks, including reading, listening, and speaking, in which children were taught their native language, and adults taught a foreign language.

And, the researchers found what they say are ‘robust and reliable’ links between language and these ancient evolutionary brain systems.

Conclusion - Language

‘Our conclusion that language is...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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