New findings on word formation in brain

New findings on word formation in brain

An international team, led by Washington University, has, in fact, found a way to peer into the deepest recesses of the brain in order to watch words forming. Using electrodes, they found the area of the brain that is involved in creating the 40 or so sounds that form the English language.

The scientists then discovered that each of these sounds has its own signal which they believe could eventually allow a computer programme to read what people want to say by the power of their thoughts, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

The team, led by Eric Leuthardt, studied four people who suffered from severe epilepsy who each had 64 electrodes implanted into their heads. They monitored the areas of the brain where speech is formed.

The subjects were asked to make four repeated sounds – “oo”, “ah”, “eh”, and “ee”. The team monitored the Wenicke’s and Broca’s areas of the brain for signals related to speech formation.

The scientists were then able to pick out the corresponding electrical signals, and while these four signals will not be enough to form sentences, further research could lead to this becoming possible.

Leuthardt told ‘The Sunday Times’: “What it shows is that the brain is not the black box that we’ve philosophically assumed it to be for generations past. I’m not going to say that I can fully read someone’s mind. I can’t. But I have evidence now that it is possible.”

The findings have been published in the ‘Journal of Neural Engineering’.