Category Archives: Language

June 06

Speech Synthesis from Brain Activity

[En español] The existing technology that assists people with speech disabilities is reliant on brain-computer interfaces which translate eye and facial muscle movements into words. However, this translation is limited in speed – approximately 10 words per minute, which is considerably lower than the rate of naturally produced speech (150 words per minute). The process […]

July 13

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

What’s one part beach, four parts science, and too much fun? If you answered “Brain Camp,” you nailed it.

December 29

The Language of Arrival

Lots of sci-fi movies might begin with funny-shaped vessels landing on earth, but very few of them end with a (female!) linguist helping to save humanity by learning to speak the language of their inhabitants. As an only occasional viewer of science fiction movies, I was pleasantly surprised by the limited number of explosions and […]

September 08

Car Talk

For many Americans—and southern Californians in particular—a good chunk of our lives occurs in the confines of a car above a tangle of highways (or side streets). Time spent in traffic is the pits, so it’s no small wonder that drivers might dabble in multi-tasking.  Driving itself involves a coordination of many tasks, both perceptual […]

December 15

What’s Your Damage, Yoda?

Even if you haven’t seen the Star Wars films (yes, those people do exist and yes, it’s rude to yell at them until they watch them), you probably know three key things about Jedi Master Yoda: he’s small, he’s green, and he talks funny. Specifically, he switches around the order of some of his words; […]

November 19

Learning Language by Eavesdropping

Though kids seem to learn language without effort, scientists continue to puzzle over how children go from scream-y, pre-linguistic squooshballs to slightly-less-scream-y toddlers who can string a few words together (including “no!”) to older children who speak more or less like adults do. Researchers have learned a lot about how kids learn to talk—they know […]

A metaphorical tour of the brain

Albert Einstein once said: “The only source of knowledge is experience.” Not to undermine Einstein’s authority, but there are many phenomena, especially in science, that we just can’t experience directly. We can make diagrams, but we can’t actually see or touch things like dopamine or gravity. And although we’re constantly experiencing both of those things, […]

From www.laurakiinsale.com February 10

Add A Little Romance (Novel) To Your Valentine’s Day- Part 1!

Is there a more maligned genre of literature than the romance novel?  For years it’s been made fun of as the primary choice of literature for middle aged spinster cat ladies everywhere, as something to sneer and scoff at. No more. The image of romance novels is changing, and changing fast.  The genre has moved […]

June 28

Synesthesia: The sky, the number 7, and sadness are all blue

If you were shown the shapes below and told that one is called a “kiki” and the other a “bouba,” which name would you attribute to which shape? Between 95 and 98% of people agree that the more rigid shape is “kiki,” and the curvy one is “bouba.” This is not because they learned these names […]

April 03

Talkin’ 2 Myself: Eminem and the Science of Inner Speech

The other day, I was listening to Eminem’s “Talkin’ 2 Myself,” and I started thinking about the therapeutic effects of talking to oneself (coincidentally, Eminem briefly discussed the song with Big Boy on Power 106 this Monday!   Seriously random, considering Recovery was released in 2010…).  Specifically, I was curious about the fine line between […]