Zeynep Saygin at Ohio State and her colleagues challenged a long-standing belief that human brains are not pre-adapted to learn language:
Humans are born with a part of the brain that is prewired to be receptive to seeing words and letters, setting the stage at birth for people to learn how to read, a new study suggests.
Analyzing brain scans of newborns, researchers found that this part of the brain – called the “visual word form area” (VWFA) – is connected to the language network of the brain.
“That makes it fertile ground to develop a sensitivity to visual words – even before any exposure to language,” said Zeynep Saygin, senior author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at The Ohio State University. …
In his last book, The Kingdom of Speech, American novelist Tom Wolfe (1930–2018) made clear how much difference speech really makes to human beings, the way it sets us apart from animals (whether we like it or not).News, “Researchers: Humans are prewired to recognize words” at Mind Matters News
So, contrary to what psychologists had supposed, the ability to seek meaning is built in, not taught.
Also: How is human language different from animal signals? (Michael Egnor) What do we need from language that we cannot get from signals alone?
The real reason why only human beings speak. (Michael Egnor)Language is a tool for abstract thinking—a necessary tool for abstraction—and humans are the only animals who think abstractly