Posts tagged with ‘cognition’
If you were to translate ‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall’ in another language, a lot depends on what language you’re speaking. Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky of UC San Diego explains.
Let’s just focus on the verb ‘sat’. If this is something you want to say in English and it’s something that happened in the past, then you have to change the verb to mark tense. But in other languages, not only do you have to mark tense, there may be five different past tenses.
In other languages, gender and how you even came to know this information about Mr. Dumpty are factored in, too. The cognition behind language got Boroditsky interested in whether bilinguals have two separate systems for thinking in two languages or, do they have one integrated system for both? She found it’s actually a combination of the two.
They may change based on the language they’re speaking in the moment, but they’re almost always still different from the monolinguals of either language. So, it seems that there’s both combination and differentiation in the bilingual mind.
What about you? Do you speak more than one language?
A UC Santa Cruz study found that dancers can improve the ability to do complex moves by walking through them slowly and encoding the movement with a cue through ‘marking’.
Researcher Edward Warburton, a former professional ballet dancer, and colleagues (including a UC Irvine collaborator) were interested in exploring the “thinking behind the doing of dance.”
Their findings suggest that marking may alleviate the conflict between the cognitive and physical aspects of dance practice and allow dancers to memorize and repeat steps more fluidly. As Warburton describes:
Marking could be strategically used by teachers and choreographers to enhance memory and integration of multiple aspects of a piece precisely at those times when dancers are working to master the most demanding material.
It’s possible that this area of research can extend to other kinds of activities, like language acquisition. Stay tuned!
¿Hablas otro idioma? Parlez-vous une autre langue? Сколько языков Вы знаете? Do you speak another language? If so, there are benefits that go beyond communication skills …