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Chinese speakers use more of their brain than English speakers

说中文比英文更锻炼大脑.jpg

If you speak Mandarin, your brain works differently. That's according to a recent study published in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences. The report is the first to conclude that those who speak tonal languages like Mandarin exhibit a very different flow of information during speech comprehension, using both hemispheres of the brain rather than just the left, which has long been seen as the primary neurological region for processing language.

据美国国家科学院最近发布的研究成果中指出,如果你说中文,那么你的大脑将是以不一样的方式运转。该份报告首次总结出说类似汉语的声调语言的人群在言语理解的过程中,他们的大脑表现出不一样的信息流。他们同时使用左右脑,而不是只使用左脑,而左脑一直被公认为语言处理功能的主要神经区域。

 

After analyzing brain imaging data from Mandarin and English speakers listening their respective languages, researchers from Peking University and other universities found that native Mandarin speakers and native English speakers both showed evidence of activity in the brain’s left hemisphere. But Mandarin speakers also saw activation in the right hemisphere, specifically in a region important for processing music, via pitch and tone that has long been seen as largely unrelated to language comprehension.

通过分析说中文和说英文的人群聆听他们各自的语言时所产生的脑成像数据,北京大学及其他学院的研究人员发现中文母语者和英语国家的人的左脑都出现了活动的迹象。但是中文母语者右脑同时也有活动的现象,尤其是在通过音高和音调处理音乐信息的重要区域,而这区域已经长期被视为与语言理解无关的部分。

 

Since at least the 1950s, researchers in the field of neurolinguistics have been questioning how languages influence perception, and physiological behavior. This latest study supports one emerging theory, connectionism that some languages require interactions across the entire brain. The findings are important for better protecting language-related regions during brain surgery as well as understanding the “constitution of knowledge of language, as well as how it is acquired.”

至少从1950年开始,神经语言学的研究人员对语言如何影响知觉和生理反应一直存在疑问。这项最新学术研究证明了一个新的连接机制理论:一些语言的处理需要整个大脑的相互作用。这项发现对于脑部手术过程中更好保护语言功能区域以及理解“语言学识构造和如何后天获得”起到重要作用。

 

Specifically, Chinese and English speakers both show activity in three regions in the left hemisphere: the inferior frontal gyrus, the superior temporal gyrus, and the posterior middle gyrus, labeled F, A, and P, respectively (picture A in the image below). But Chinese speakers exhibit activity in an extra area in addition to those three: the superior temporal gyrus (figure R, picture B).

特别的是,中文母语者和说英语的人的左脑都出现了三个区域的活动迹象:额下回、颞上回和脑中后回,即分别为标志F、A和P(下面的图A)。但中文母语者除了这三个区域还出现了另外区域的活动迹象:颞上回(图B中的R标志)。

Chinese speakers use more of their brain than English speakers.jpg

2016-06-21

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