Why does the brain forget the language?

byBen White

Sushma Subramanian, a science writer who migrated from his home country India to the United States at the age of 2, said, "Why are you mother tongueTamilHave you stopped speaking? It is trying to elucidate it scientifically.

My Forgotten Language | DiscoverMagazine.com

Subramanian says he moved to South America from the South Indian family with his family when he was two years old. At that time it seems that the whole family was talking about Tamil language which is the mother tongue. Since Subramanian did not remember English even when it came to school year, parents point out from school teacher. Parents prohibited Subramanian from speaking English so that they can speak English, Tamil language in their homes was prohibited, but these methods are a common method among immigrants living in the United States in the 1980s That's right. As a result of education, Subramanian became able to speak English, but instead Tamil can not speak. Subramanian's parents still seem to use Tamil language, so you can understand it by listening to it, understand Tamil language news and movies to a certain extent, but I can not talk. In addition, it seems that children are raised so that many educators now become "bilingual" which can freely use two languages.

Subramanian, who felt wondering why he could not speak Tamil, asked Barry Gordon, a professor of neurology at John Hopkins University, himself who is in charge of "understanding" and "speaking" of the language I want you to investigate how the brain area works. The area concerning the language of the brain is called "language center", "broker center" is related to "speaking", "Wernicke center" is related to "understanding".

byjesse orrico

In general, humans listen to the sound being spoken in the surroundings and learn new words by imitating it. However, because Subramanian has stopped talking in Tamil in early childhood, it seems that the ability to understand not only the Tamil speaking skills but also the ability to understand is slowed down. Also, since the words used in everyday conversation in Tamil are fairly simple, the current Subramanian's Tamil language skill understands the relatives' conversation. Then why Subramanian is better at understanding than speaking, Gordon says, "Humans always have differences in proficiency in language skills such as listening, speaking, reading, and writing I will be out. "

According to Monika Schmid, who is a linguist and Essex college and expert in language loss, he says, "Whenever I recall the words memorized in your brain, there is always some mental stimulation required" about. This is derived from the idea called "active threshold hypothesis". According to Michel Paradis, an expert on neurological linguistics at McGill University in Montreal, this concept was born in 1987, "When recognizing a word many times, the more the number of times the brain is from the last time Even neural stimulation necessary for access to the brain will be less. " If you spend a long time without listening to a word, the energy needed to remember that word will be high, which means that it will be difficult to recall. Also, unlike tasks reminiscent of languages ​​reflective to external stimuli, it is more difficult to remember words in their minds when they "speak" in fact, so it is more difficult to say "speaking" than "understanding" It is considered to be more difficult.

byErwan Hesry

According to Arturo Hernández who is also a psychologist at the University of Houston and studying bilingual brains, age is a very important factor in learning languages. Mr. Hernandez is doing a test comparing language ability with 16 native English speakers who speak English only, gathering 66 Spanish bilinguals in a paper published in 2015.fMRIAs a result of the brain scan using the brain scan, activity was confirmed in the various brain regions of the subjects, but bilingual who studied English especially when I was young is more active in the cortical area of ​​the prefrontal cortex involved in working memory Was found, clearly distinguishing the sounds of English and Spanish.

Hernandez said that if you learn multiple languages ​​from a young age and be familiar with the sounds of each language, you will be able to learn languages ​​easily and quickly without experiencing normal learning . It is Subramanian who has become unable to speak Tamil, but it has certainly heard Tamil from early childhood, so it seems easy to manage words that someone spoke as it is, "I do not know Tamil In the case of people, these things will be almost impossible. "

byJason Rosewell

It is clear that early childhood is suitable for learning languages, but young people are concerned with new languagesLong-term memoryEven if you can speak two languages ​​at the age of seven, if you do not use one of the languages ​​at all after that, there is a high possibility that you will forget almost all knowledge of lost language And that. However, if you do not use the language at all after the age of 12, it seems likely that you will be able to speak again after 30 years or more.

Experts are discussing the exact age at which the language is established, but according to a study published in 2002, the survivors of the German Holocaust who fled to the UK are those who left Germany before 11 years of age Although there was no person who responded to the interview in German, the person who left the Germany after 11 years of age preferred to use German in the interview. In other words, it is thought that around the age of 11 is the age where language is established.

In summary, Subramanian has used Tamil from early childhood and has "ability to clearly distinguish other languages ​​such as Tamil and English", but since she left Tamil when she entered school, "Tamil It will not be established. " In other words, Subramanian is a subtle situation that does not seem to have the foundation for Tamil language to be able to speak again.

When asked, "How much time will it take for Subramanian to become able to speak Tamil"? Mr. Hernandez said, "It will take 5 to 10 years to become able to speak Tamil on a fluent level I will answer ". However, this depends on how much Tamil can be used in early childhood, and how much Tamil was used by the surroundings.

in Science, Posted by logu_ii