-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [evol-psych] Brain buzz that proves Chinese is harder to learn than English
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2003 10:34:48 +0100
From: Ian Pitchford <ian.pitchford@...>
Reply-To: Ian Pitchford <ian.pitchford@...>
Organization: http://human-nature.com
To: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com

Brain buzz that proves Chinese is harder to learn than English

Tim Radford, science editor
Monday June 30, 2003
The Guardian

It's official: Chinese is more difficult than English.

The Chinese need both sides of the brain to grapple with challenges of
Mandarin, but English speakers listen with only half their minds on the job.

Sophie Scott, a psychologist at the Wellcome Trust, and colleagues from
hospitals in Oxford and London performed brain scans on volunteers as they
listened to their native languages.

When English speakers heard the sound of Mockney, Mersey or Geordie, their left
temporal lobes lit up on screen. When Mandarin Chinese speakers heard their
native tongue, there was a buzz of action in both the right and left temporal

"We were very surprised to discover that people who speak different sorts of
languages use their brains to decode speech in different ways, said Dr Scott.
"It overturned some long-held theories."

The left temporal lobe is normally associated with piecing sounds together into
words; the right with processing melody and intonation.

Full text

News in Brain and Behavioural Sciences - Issue 101 - 29th June, 2003 
Human Nature Review http://human-nature.com/
Evolutionary Psychology http://human-nature.com/ep/ 

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