The story of how scientists searched for it in the mind of the journalist

Six months as a test I went to the experiments, the neurolinguistics laboratory, HSE. Being the object of the research, I tried a little bit to understand in the interaction of language and brain.




Experiment No. 1: "Boo, Boo, Boo..."My perception of the Room with the MRI so white and clean that it is difficult to distinguish the floor from the ceiling. This becomes even colder. Ring and belt with the buckle removed. Dentures I have not yet, a heart stimulant, too. Like ready. Throwing off the shoes, go barefoot on the tiled floor. Lie down on the couch. My head covered with a plastic lattice-like mask resembling a knight's visor. Stirring the head, as, indeed, other parts of the body, it is impossible. All I see is a reflection of the large screen with the text of the task in the system of small mirrors placed in front of me.

Put on the headphones connected to the neighbouring room with a thick rubber hose. Couch slowly drives into the machine.

Today I'm participating in one of the experiments scientific the neurolinguistics laboratory, HSE. Created just a few years ago, she brought together neuroscientists, linguists, speech therapists and even programmers, who are learning our language as a direct product of the brain.

How connected language and the brain, scientists are trying to understand for a hundred years. But the real revolution began in our time, when it became available scanners and other devices that enables detailed monitoring of brain function.

From these studies, two global problems. The first fundamental is to understand how neurons work in our head into words and sentences that we understand or pronounce. The second task applied to help people who have for brain disorders have problems with speech.






Probably the best way to see how the brain controls speech, is a functional magnetic resonance imaging, which accurately identifies what area of the brain is active and what is not.

In the tube of the MRI scanner can feel the solemn loneliness of an astronaut enclosed in a space capsule, which is about to explode to the stars. In an alarming rattle of machine imagining rapid pulse of the heart. He complained of buzzing all over the room, creating a magnetic field around me, and I can't get rid of the obsessive feelings that the machine is reading my thoughts.

The experiment starts.

— Say sentences about yourself — hear headphones quiet voice of the researcher.

"Now widow finishes cherry liqueur".

It is funny, but not much fun: spoil the statistics.

Then it gets worse: "Svaka wasurete plamika dasa shutlivo".

And finally, the climax: "Boo, Boo, Boo Boo buuuuuuu".

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