Learning new words quickly and efficiently

Posted on April 10, 2015

Photo: flickr

A new study finds that we are able to learn words quickly as we remember how the word looks like in overall.

A small part of our brain is holistically tuned to recognising words as a whole, rather than parts or through individual letters.
Neurons in a small brain area remembers how the whole word looks, which helps us to learn new words. This is similar to the visual cortex in the fusiform gyrus, which helps us to recognise faces.

In the study, participants were asked to learn new words that were nonsense. Their brain were scanned before and after training to look at how it had changed. It was seen from the results that after learning, the visual word form area responses to nonsense word as if it is a real word.

People with reading disabilities may find it easier to learn words as a whole rather than breaking them down. While for those who cannot learn by phonetically spelling out, learning the whole word as a visual object helps as well.

The visual word form area concentrates on how the word look together and not how it sounds. This type of learning occurs in one very small part of the brain which also shows selective plasticity in the brain.


Category(s):Learning Difficulties

Source material from PsyBlog


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