新闻听力 | 对多语者的研究显示大脑如何处理语言

新闻听力 | 对多语者的研究显示大脑如何处理语言

4.9分钟 507 128wpm

Study of Polyglots Shows How Brain Deals with Language


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VOA慢速:多语者的研究显示大脑如何处理语言

Study of Polyglots Shows How Brain Deals with Language


慢速| CET-4 偏难| 605| 5min5s


刘立军 供稿


Part I. QUESTIONS

Listen to the news and choose the best answer to each question you hear.


Q1. How many languages did the polyglots participating in the study speak?

A. Between 1 and 4 languages.

B. Between 2 and 7 languages.

C. Between 5 and 54 languages.

D. More than 55 languages.


Q2. What tool did scientists use to monitor brain activity in the study?

A. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

B. Positron emission tomography (PET).

C. Electroencephalography (EEG).

D. Computed tomography (CT) scan.


Q3. What area of the brain is involved with language processing according to the study?

A. The cerebellum.

B. The cerebral cortex.

C. The hippocampus.

D. The amygdala.


Q4. Why does the native language of the polyglots result in less activation in the brain’s language network?

A. Because it is less efficient and effective for them.

B. Because they have lost some proficiency in their native language.

C. Because they have a lower emotional connection to their native language.

D. Because the neural processes are more efficient when processing their native language.


Q5. What general conclusion can be drawn from the study’s findings?

A. Polyglots’ brains are identical when hearing both native and non-native languages.

B. Native languages generate a considerably stronger response in the brain compared to other known languages.

C. The brain responds more to languages that individuals understand well except for their native language.

D. Polyglots have less brain activity compared to people who speak only one language.


Part II. TRANSCRIPT


Study of Polyglots Shows How Brain Deals with Language


Most people around the world speak one or two languages. But some can speak three or more. These people are called polyglots. And they are helping researchers better understand how the human brain deals with language.

polyglot n. 通晓多种语言的人


In a new study, a team of scientists monitored the brain activity of 34 polyglots. (Q1) The polyglots spoke between 5 and 54 languages.


(Q2) The scientists used a method called functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI. In fMRI, the brain is studied through images that measure changes in blood flow in different areas of the brain. The researchers used fMRI to study the brain as the polyglots listened to different languages.

resonance n. 共鸣;共振


(Q3) The researchers found that, when the polyglots heard a language they knew, activity increased in an area of the brain involved with language processing. That area is the cerebral cortex. When they listened to a language they did not know or knew less well, there was less activity in the cerebral cortex.

cerebral cortex 大脑皮层


Evelina Fedorenko is a brain scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research. She was also a senior writer of the study, which recently appeared in the publication Cerebral Cortex.


She explained the findings.


“We think this is because when you process a language that you know well, you can engage the full suite of linguistic operations — the operations that the language system in your brain supports,” Fedorenko said.


However, an exception caught the attention of the researchers. For many of the polyglot participants, listening to their native language produced less of a brain response compared to hearing other languages they knew. On average, the response was about 25 percent less. And in some of the polyglots, listening to their native language activated only one part of the brain’s language network, not the whole thing.


Olessia Jouravlev is a brain scientist at Carleton University in Canada. He also helped write the report. (Q4) He said that the brain’s neural processes were more efficient, or effective, when the polyglots heard their native language.

neural adj. 神经的;神经系统的


“Therefore, the language network in the brain does not activate as much as when they do native versus non-native language processing,” Jouravlev said.


The brain’s language network involves a few areas in its frontal and temporal lobes.

temporal adj. 太阳穴的

lobe n.(身体器官的)叶;(尤指)肺叶,脑叶


Saima Malik-Moraleda is a doctoral student at the Harvard/MIT Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology. She was one of the lead writers of the study. She said the findings suggest that the way the brain finds, or extracts, meaning in language governs the brain’s response to language.

bioscience n. 生物科学;生命科学


(Q5) “The more meaning you can extract from the language input you are receiving, the greater the response in language regions — except for the native language,” she said.


Of the 34 polyglots who took part in the study, 20 were men and 14 were women. They were between 19 and 71 years old. 21 were native English speakers. The rest were native speakers of French, Russian, Spanish, Dutch, German, Hungarian, and Mandarin Chinese.

Mandarin n.(中文)普通话


Researchers monitored the polyglots’ brain activity as they listened to recordings in eight languages. One was their native language. Three were languages they spoke well, somewhat well or somewhat. The other four were languages they did not know.


Fedorenko noted that a lot of work in language research has been centered on individuals with linguistic difficulties.

linguistic adj. 语言的;语言学的


But she said there is a lot that researchers can learn about the language process by studying so-called language “experts” too. That includes polyglots, Fedorenko added.



Part III. KEY


1. C.细节题。文章中提到:“The polyglots spoke between 5 and 54 languages.”意为:“这些多语者会说554种语言。”因此答案为C


2. A.细节题。文章中明确提到了研究人员使用的方法:The scientists used a method called functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI.”意为:“科学家们使用了一种叫做功能性磁共振成像(fMRI)的方法。”因此答案为A


3. B.细节题。文本中明确指出哪个脑区参与语言处理:“when the polyglots heard a language they knew, activity increased in an area of the brain involved with language processing. That area is the cerebral cortex.”意为:“……当多语者听到他们熟悉的语言时,参与语言处理的大脑区域活动增加。那个区域是大脑皮层。”因此正确答案为B


4. D.推理题。根据Olessia Jouravlev的话:“the brains neural processes were more efficient, or effective, when the polyglots heard their native language,”可以推断对于母语,大脑语言网络中的神经处理过程更为高效。选项ABC都没有在文本中提及。因此答案为D


5. C.主旨题。文章中提到了研究的总体结论:“The more meaning you can extract from the language input you are receiving, the greater the response in language regions except for the native language.”这句话意味着对于通晓程度越高的语言,大脑的反应越强,母语除外。因此答案为C


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  • 时长:4.9分钟
  • 语速:128wpm
  • 来源:刘立军 2024-06-05