54

This question would require an experiment that cannot ethically be conducted, but it is interesting. Wikipedia has an article on historical attempts at language deprivation experiments: An experiment allegedly carried out by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century saw young infants raised without human interaction in an attempt to ...


15

I think the answer is a qualified yes, humans can think without language. Ultimately though it depends on what you mean by "think." There is a remarkably large number of deaf people who are not exposed either to a signed or spoken language even in developed countries. These people often invent their own gesture systems, referred to as home sign systems. ...


13

Funnily enough, there was a Science article published on this (see here). In their sample of university students, Mehl et al. had participants wear a specialized device that recorded audio samples from daily life (The EAR). They report that (emphasis mine): The data suggest that women spoke on average 16,215 (SD = 7301) words and men 15,669 (SD = 8633) ...


13

Short answer Singing increases the duration of voiced intervals in stutterers. Background Singing is an example of one of the most effective methods to decrease stuttering* (Stager, 2003). It is a so-called fluency-increasing (FI) condition in stutterers and reduces stuttering by more than 90%. Some of the few, subtle acoustic differences between song and ...


13

A study by Rainer et al. (2011) has shown that words are skipped and apparently filled in mentally quite often (in the order of 8 to 30% of times). Two important factors that increased skipping rates were the length of the word and the predictability of the word due to contextual constraints. Both cases apply on the word 'the', because it is short and ...


11

Probably in "visuospatial thinking". Thinking modalities: I assume here that you are asking about the modality of thinking. This is not a well studied area in cognitive science. I believe the question stems from an underlying assumption that most people think in their primary language (or possibly switch if they are fully bilingual). This was certainly ...


8

The neologism used to describe this phenomenon is Typoglycemia. It relates to the cognitive processes behind reading written text. Randomising letters in the middle of words have little or no effect on the ability of skilled readers to understand the text. Because the human mind does not read every letter by itself but as a whole, it would work for any ...


8

The scrambled words game is very useful in persuading the less sophisticated to take a passing interest in their own cognitive processes! it is intriguing and also rewarding as it shows we can do something apparently rather difficult more easily than expected. However, the difficulty will be greater for second language learners at earlier stages of study. ...


7

Since this (excellent) question has been around for a while without any answer, I thought I'd give my two cents. I think we do this as a gesture of respect to the other person. We may fear that if we don't acknowledge them at all, it will come off as rude or arrogant. Maybe we fear that if we don't even look at the other person, we're basically pretending ...


7

Certainly. It depends on the type of learning process of a person. One can be better at remembering images, so he might access the images first when trying to define an object/event/etc. This can be thought of as having a photographic memory. The main reason why most people think with words is because it is a much more sophisticated and structured ...


7

The ‘jumbled word effect’ is due to the special way in which the human brain encodes the positions of letters in printed words. Psycholinguists investigate this effect with a procedure called masked-priming where a target word is primed with a briefly presented stimulus (usually a mix of target's letters). This lead to a model of word recognition that ...


7

The scenario you describe is sometimes called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. Baader-Meinhof is the phenomenon where one stumbles upon some obscure piece of information—often an unfamiliar word or name—and soon afterwards encounters the same subject again, often repeatedly. The more scientifically accepted name for this cognitive bias seems to be '...


7

While no cases of complete isolation of a group of children seem to exist, idioglossia (language invented and spoken by only one person or very few people) in twins is well documented and appears to be amplified by social isolation, as the sad cases of June and Jennifer Gibbons aka "Silent Twins" and the "San Diego twins" Poto and Cabengo illustrate. The ...


6

Motherese may play a role in emotional development. Soken and Pick write: "Concurrent with the exaggerated speech of motherese, there are probably exaggerated facial displays, allowing infants to explore the particular aspects of the face... Child-centered displays may serve as opportunities for learning about affective events." Walker-Andrews (1997) also ...


6

This is not a direct answer to the question, but a related construct that may be useful is alexithymia. Alexithymia is a personality construct describing relatively decreased ability to identify and express emotions. Psychometrically, the alexithymia construct has seen extensive use and undergone testing that by and large supported its validity (Bagby, ...


6

That is a really interesting question. There are some studies that found that the emotional response is strong in one's native language compared to languages that are acquired later. For instance, a study by Harris and colleagues found that physiological arousal was stronger to swear words or childhood reprimands in the first language of the participants ...


5

Difficulties with language is not actually a symptom of autism. Autism Spectrum Disorder involves difficulties in social communication and interaction, as well as restricted and repetitive interests or behaviours (DSM-V, 2013). The term "social communication" is referring to difficulties in the social aspects of language and other communication, such as ...


5

It is hard to imagine what evidence might be found of thoughts existing without language. Even feral children encounter language (either verbal or nonverbal) through limited contact with people or animals, and lab animals communicate nonverbally with researchers, even if only through their environments (the researcher observes the animal's behavior, and the ...


5

A lot of research seems to have been done on the challenges multilingualism poses for the human brain, but not so much on how much actually meeting those challenges improves one's overall cognitive capacity. At present the general approach seems to be summed up: "Cognitive science suggests that the brain has selective resources with limited capacity" (Emily ...


5

The first option is to investigate exactly what his worries are and to put them in perspective. Often, people catastrophize their fears, imagining the worst possible scenario for a given situation. While that outcome may be a realistic possibility, often is not the only or even the most likely possibility. For instance, is he afraid that people will think he ...


5

Both of my parents and I are multilingual. We come from Czech Republic and have learned multiple languages through our lives as we moved around. I have noticed, even within myself that I "feel" different speaking a European language compared to English. Not being able to go into the neurobiology of brain plasticity and change within when developing with ...


5

You would need a conspiracy of many people to prank a child with this kind of thing, because kids are really good at tracking the information value of sources. If you give a different random word every time they'll discount you as an information source, if you give the same random word every time they'll learn it... and use it only with you (more or less, ...


5

Humans technically don't perceive frequencies, they perceive pitch. According to Wikipedia: the idiom relating vertical height to sound pitch is shared by most languages. citing a 1930 article by Pratt, which in turn says that: Stumpf has found that adjectives meaning high and low (or words closely related in meaning) have been applied to tones in ...


4

One way of thinking about speech production is using a spreading activation architecture. Say I want to produce the word "rooster." I have a meaning to be expressed (feathery avian animal loud...etc). These semantic representations send activation down to various matching words (bird, rooster, chicken...etc). As these words collect evidence for themselves, ...


4

(Unfortunately, the links appear to be broken, so I will reply to the title and bolded question.) Being forced to use a language you are unfamiliar with as a language technique is known as immersion learning. I could not find direct comparisons of adults and children, but based on evidence from educational systems, it appears that early immersion does not ...


4

I'd argue that Churchill's "Never, never, NEVER give up" didn't reputedly have this effect. With 'Don't forget' the 'don't' may well outweigh the infinitive verb in its cognitive effect, especially if stressed. The language here is of stimulation, incentivising, or command, and I'd say the more likely undesired reaction is the dislike of the perceived ...


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