What happens in the brain when you go from speaking to typing?
A pioneering investigation by the Basque Center on Cognition Brain and Language (BCBL) in the city of San Sebastián (northern Spain) attempts to see what changes occur in the brain and cognitive activity when a person rapidly changes the way they communicate when going from speaking to typing.
The results of this study could contribute to the development of new learning methods and help in the rehabilitation of people who have suffered a cerebral stroke, the BCBL reported in a statement on Tuesday.
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To carry out this research, the BCBL is looking for 35 “super typing”, that is, people capable of typing without looking, between the ages of 18 and 40, who are right-handed and have Spanish as the predominant language.
These volunteers participate for three hours in an MRI test and behavioral tasks by repeating and typing words, explains Svetlana Pinet, a BCBL researcher who leads the project team.
In order to carry out this study, the BCBL has designed a special keyboard, without any metallic objects, so that it can be inserted into the MRI machine.
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“Participants will enter the scanner lying down with the keyboard on their legs. Then we will see how they behave in different situations: speaking or writing “, adds the expert.
They will also perform behavioral tasks, such as listening to a word and repeating it or seeing a picture and writing what it represents. The study expects to find differences between these actions in different areas such as the cerebellum, temporal lobe and fusiform gyrus and especially in the motor cortex, which occupies the functions related to hand movement and speech.
We will see how they behave in different situations: speaking or writing
It is expected that the results obtained in the investigation, which will last one year when the magnetic and behavioral tests are completed, will serve to better understand these brain areas and provide valuable data that contribute to the development of new teaching methods to learn, for example, languages.
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The knowledge generated could also help to improve the rehabilitation of patients who have suffered a cerebral stroke and who have to face difficulties in speaking, as well as to improve the efficiency of brain tumor surgeries by having more precise information about what Regions of the brain are critical for communication.
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