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Hand Gestures Improve Learning in Both Signers and Speakers

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Spontaneous gesture can help children learn, whether they use a spoken language or sign language, according to a new report.

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Beyond Po-TA-to and Po-TAH-to

The sounds of a 7,000-year-old language now echo through the halls of the University of Kentucky. Professors and students work together to reconstruct a spoken version of PIE (Proto-Indo-European).

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Life

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Philosopher Uses Game Theory to Understand How Words, Actions Acquire Meaning

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The latest work from a Kansas State University philosopher appears in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, which is a rarity for philosophy research.

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Science

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Large Twin Study Suggests That Language Delay Due More to Nature Than Nurture

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A study of 473 sets of twins followed since birth found twins have twice the rate of language delay as do single-born children. Moreover, identical twins have greater rates of language delay than do non-identical twins, strengthening the case for the heritability of language.

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Life

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Personalized Approach Enhances Communication Skills in Children with Autism

A UCLA-led study has found that the communication skills of minimally verbal children with autism can be greatly improved through personalized interventions that are combined with the use of computer tablets.

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Science

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The Connection Between Human Translation and Computerized Translation Programs

A new study that was conducted by the Department of Computer Science at the University of Haifa suggests a number of new discoveries relating to the unique linguistic features of text that has been translated by a person that can significantly improve the capabilities of computerized translation programs

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Months Before Their First Words, Babies' Brains Rehearse Speech Mechanics

University of Washington research in 7- and 11-month-old infants shows that speech sounds stimulate areas of the brain that coordinate and plan motor movements for speech. The study suggests that baby brains start laying down the groundwork of how to form words long before they actually begin to speak.

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Life

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Long-Term Study Suggests Ways to Help Children Learn Language and Develop Cognitive Skills

Examining factors such as how much children gesture at an early age may make it possible to identify and intervene with very young children at risk for delays in speech and cognitive development, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Chicago.

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Keywords Hold Our Vocabulary Together in Memory

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Like key players in social networks, University of Kansas scientists have found evidence that there are keywords in word networks that hold together groups of words in our memory. The existence of keywords opens up many possible real-life applications such as helping individuals with word finding after stroke. Conversely, removing a keyword through psycholinguistic tasks, could actually disrupt language processing - fracturing our word network.

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Medicine

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Listening to Bipolar Disorder: Smartphone App Detects Mood Swings via Voice Analysis

A smartphone app that monitors subtle qualities of a person’s voice during everyday phone conversations shows promise for detecting early signs of mood changes in people with bipolar disorder. While the app still needs much testing before widespread use, early results from a small group of patients show its potential to monitor moods while protecting privacy.

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