brain scan with a region of the left hemisphere highlighted in blue; behind the scan, sentences pulled from Alice in Wonderland can be seen running from the bottom of the image to the top

‘Universal language network’ identified in the brain

Japanese, Italian, Ukrainian, Swahili, Tagalog and dozens of other spoken languages cause the same “universal language network” to light up in the brains of native speakers. This hub of language processing has been studied extensively in English speakers, but now neuroscientists have confirmed that the exact same network is activated in speakers of 45 different languages representing 12 distinct language families.    

“This study is very foundational, extending some findings from English to a broad range of languages,” senior author Evelina Fedorenko, an associate professor of neuroscience at MIT and a member of MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, said in a statement (opens in new tab)

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