Archives for posts with tag: language

Talking to babies could mean they have a better career (when they grow up that is). It helps the development of their vocabulary and language skills, and also their memory and nonverbal cognitive abilities.

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Lifelong bilingualism (fluency in two languages) keeps the brain working more efficiently into old age, and slows some of the cognitive effects of ageing – this supports the idea that keeping the brain active into old age could cut the risk of dementia.

Read the original paper in Journal of Neuroscience.

Before language, our sense of smell was very important to communicate relationships and identify mates, among other things, and we still have these abilities, though we don’t rely on them as much. Scientists collected body odour from volunteers using absorbent pads, and another team of volunteers was able to identify people’s ages from smell alone – and also found that older people smelled better than younger people.

Read the original research in PLoS One.

Language seems to begin in the womb – very young French babies cry in rising tones like spoken French, and very young German babies cry in falling tones like spoken German. People who do not learn language before puberty may never be able to speak in full sentences.

From 20 Things You Didn’t Know About… Language from Discover Magazine

Baboons can recognise words of up to four letters long, and differentiate them from nonsense words, but this might be more to do with their ability to identify objects rather than whether they can learn languages.

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