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Science

Children use both hemispheres of the brain to understand language

Washington / Infants and children use both hemispheres of the brain to understand language, specifically to process spoken phrases, unlike adults, who concentrate this task on the left side, according to research by neuroscientists at the University of California Medical Center. Georgetown and released this Monday.

The study, published by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), revealed that in almost all adults, sentence processing is possible only in the left hemisphere, according to research, based on brain scans and clinical findings from loss of language in patients who suffered a stroke in that hemisphere.

The researchers thoroughly analyzed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Meanwhile, in children it is unlikely that damage to any of the hemispheres affects language, since many can recover even if the left side is severely damaged, which for the researchers suggests that this ability is distributed between both hemispheres in a very early stage.

“The use of both hemispheres provides a compensatory mechanism after a neural injury. For example, if the left hemisphere is damaged by a perinatal effusion – which occurs just after birth – a child will learn language using the right hemisphere, ”explained a Georgetown neurology professor, Elissa Newport.

“Good news”

The researcher added that the study shows how it is possible that “a child born with cerebral palsy that damages only one hemisphere, can develop cognitive abilities in the other hemisphere.”

“This is good news for young children experiencing a neural injury,” added Newport, director of the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery, an institution formed by Georgetown University and the MedStar Rehabilitation Network.

For the study, 39 healthy children between 4 and 13 years old were selected, as well as 14 adults between 18 and 29 years old, who were given a task of understanding “well-studied” sentences.

Subsequently, the activation patterns in each hemisphere were analyzed according to the functional magnetic resonance images and compared according to four age groups: 4-6; 7-9; 10-13 and 18-29.

According to the publication, the researchers found that, at the group level, young children show language activation with the left, although a proportion of the younger children also showed activation in areas corresponding to the right hemisphere.

In adults, the publication highlights, the right hemisphere is activated in tasks such as the processing of emotions expressed with the voice, while in young children the areas of both hemispheres are dedicated, each one, to understand the meaning of the phrases and recognize the emotional effect.

The researchers are now focused on examining language activation in adolescents and young adults who have suffered a major stroke in the left hemisphere at birth, the article concludes. (September 8, 2020, EFE / PracticaEspañol)

(Automatic translation)

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Question 1
En general, el texto habla de...
A
qué ocurre cuando una persona sufre un derrame cerebral.
B
cómo utilizan los niños los hemisferios del cerebro en la comprensión del lenguaje.
C
los niños que nacen con parálisis cerebral.
Question 2
En el texto se dice que...
A
no es cierto que los adultos utilicen principalmente el hemisferio izquierdo del cerebro para entender el lenguaje.
B
los niños no solo pueden utilizar el hemisferio izquierdo sino también el derecho para comprender el lenguaje.
C
se desmiente que los niños utilicen ambos hemisferios del cerebro para entender el lenguaje.
Question 3
Según el texto...
A
si un niño sufre una lesión en el hemisferio izquierdo del cerebro, aprenderá el lenguaje utilizando el derecho.
B
un adulto seguiría comprendiendo el lenguaje aunque sufra daños cerebrales en ambos hemisferios.
C
un centenar de niños participaron en ese estudio para determinar cómo usan los hemisferios del cerebro para entender el lenguaje.
Question 4
En el texto se dice que...
A
se desmiente que los niños más pequeños utilicen las áreas de ambos hemisferios para entender el lenguaje y reconocer el efecto emocional.
B
en los adultos se activan unas áreas del hemisferio derecho para procesar las emociones expresadas verbalmente.
C
se acaba de publicar un estudio sobre cómo se activó el lenguaje en adolescentes que sufrieron un derrame cerebral importante.
Question 5
En el vídeo se dice que...
A
no es posible descubrir el lenguaje humano a través de la realidad virtual en esta muestra.
B
en esta muestra los visitantes podrán ponerse en la piel de una persona que padece un transtorno lingüístico.
C
esa muestra tiene lugar en la capital de España.
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