Language and the Brain in Psycholinguistics
In one of my recent Facebook posts, I posted this picture of a brain [called as Albert]. I jested that “when you were able to see and touch a real brain in the classroom, the experience will make you wonder how your own brain functions.”
Here’s the picture of the brain I’m refering to. The right one was magnified for you. 🙂
So, why do we have this in our ELE701 (Second Language Acquisition) class? Well, because we were studying the brain features, functions, its processess and how it works, and its implication in Language Learning.
Based on the foregoing, it is best to say that there is a massive relationship and strong tie between language learning and the brain. This perceived relationship is studied in the field of Psycholinguistics. Technically, it is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language.
As we have learned in the class, language and the brain are intricately related; and in order to gain a deeper understanding of Psycholinguistics, we must examine this palpable relationship. Moreover, in order for us to understand the nature and dynamics of language, we must understand how it relates to the brain. Through the lectures in our class, we have gleaned and understood how language is learned through the human brain and how several brain regions have been identified with linguistic capabilities.
In a simple sensible term, I could say that no one would be able to learn a language without his brain. Therefore, our brain is essential in language processing and learning.
It is truly satisfying to note that through the advancement of technology, the farfetched theories of great sciencists and psycholinguists have been brought into clearer form. Like what was presented in our discussion, modern technology has made it possible to watch the brain during language learning. This gives us the idea that certain parts of the brain are related to each other and that one part simultaneously works with another during language learning.
In light of this, we can say that the brain holds a paramount importance when it comes to psycholinguistics. Somehow, this brings me to a realization that one needs to protect, enhance, and take care of one’s brain for it plays a vital role not only in language learning but also on learning in a holistic concept.
It’s worth to note the new concept I learned in class like that of Broca’s Aphasia and Werneke’s Aphasia which was conceptualized through their founders. These scientists discovered parts of the brain found in the temporal lobes. When damaged, these parts will result to malfunction in language learning.
Going deeper, the human brain is measly divided into two hemispheres — the left and the right. Each has different functions. What’s interesting is the presence of the CC (Corpus Callosum) which is a bundle of nerves that allows each side of the brain to communicate with each other. Therefore, it is safe to say that there is a relationship between the two hemispheres and this supports my earlier claim that technology has made it possible to show how the different parts of the brain works simultaneously in relation to learning a word, phrase, etc.
The functions of the brain hemispheres are summarized through the images below. 🙂
To sum this up, I can say that there is no doubt on the importance of the brain in language learning. Following our definition of psycholinguistics earlier, if one one wants to grasp the factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language, one can’t get away studying the human brain.
As a wrap, remember that “no matter how complicated psycholinguistics and other field of studies are, the brain remains as a complete wonder and puzzle for those who want to explore it (Hark Sarmiento, 2017).”