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The brain responds in similar ways to 45 diverse languages

The language network in the brain shows similar properties across 45 languages spanning 12 language ‘families’. The language areas are lateralized to the left hemisphere, selective for language, and strongly functionally inter-connected. Variability among speakers of different languages is similar to the variability that has been reported among English speakers.

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Fig. 1: fMRI activation maps for the Alice language ‘localizer’ contrast (listening to passages from Alice in Wonderland versus acoustically degraded passages) in the left hemisphere of a sample participant for each language.


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This is a summary of: Malik-Moraleda, S. et al. An investigation across 45 languages and 12 language families reveals a universal language network. Nat. Neurosci. (2022).

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The brain responds in similar ways to 45 diverse languages. Nat Neurosci 25, 982–983 (2022).

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