50

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 ...


24

This is called the Tip of the Tongue phenomenon. People in a tip-of-the-tongue state can often recall one or more features of the target word, such as the first letter, its syllabic stress, and words similar in sound and/or meaning. Individuals report a feeling of being seized by the state, feeling something like mild anguish while searching for the word,...


22

It is possible for some people to think in a second language. And given that you are asking about possibility, to some extent anecdotes are evidence. Many children who change linguistic communities at a young age lose the ability to talk in their first language. This is particularly the case where the first language is different to the language in which ...


21

It's theorized that there is a Critical Period of language development in children below the age of five (roughly, as age ranges always are in Developmental Psychology). Probably the most significant and readily verifiable finding is that a critical period exists for the learning of Phonemes. Research has suggested children readily differentiate phonemes ...


19

This is a hot topic of debate, so my answer will be an incomplete one. There are actually two separate questions here. One is on language and the other one is on environment. Language: My answer is no; different languages do not limit the conceptual repository of human mind. The current ongoing debate is partially on the Pirahã language. Everett studied ...


19

TLDR When two speakers become more similar in their speech this is called convergence or accomodation (opposite: divergence). This can occur on all levels of language, phonetics and phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. When mutual intellgibility is not an issue, accomodation mainly occurs when speakers like each other or want to appear likeable. ...


17

Is it possible to stop the conscious act of translating your native language to your second language or vice versa? Many people have already commented that they certainly experience thinking in several languages. While this sort of phenomenal insight is interesting in itself, one key idea from cognitive science research is that introspection is not ...


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. ...


14

This is called semantic saturation, or semantic satiation; studies of event-related potentials (brain waves) suggest that it is negatively correlated with N400 amplitude (the subjective experience of satiation increases as the N400 amplitude decreases) without any change to upstream sensory components. As N400 amplitude indexes initial lexical integration--...


13

I'm not an expert in this field, but this seemed interesting enough I did some reading up on the topic. The two review papers I found quickly were Prasse & Kikano (2008) and Lawrence & Barclay (1998), both from the Journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians. I have no idea whether this is a reputable journal or not. There appear to be ...


13

According to current models of human concept learning, the answer to your question is both. Think of a simplified domain in which every object consists of only several features, and therefore can be visualized as a point in some multidimensional feature space. For example, the features that define objects might be its size, shape, color, and weight. ...


13

The speech error taxonomy on Wikipedia that Jeromy Anglim links to in his answer is pretty comprehensive. If you're interested in learning more, I would suggest reading some articles by Gary Dell (e.g., Dell, 1986). He is, in my opinion, the expert in this domain. He has used neural networks to explain speech errors of different types. When mentally ...


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) ...


12

Using the English language, given two sentences that say the same thing, what makes one more readable than the other? Usually terseness while retaining clarity and removing ambiguity. The exact same things make code more readable. Remove everything that doesn't add anything, but don't remove things that do add information. And avoid ambiguity. In code, we ...


11

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 ...


10

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 ...


9

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 ...


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

One thing that comes to mind is the discussion over why English-speaking people think submarines cannot swim, while they think airplanes can fly. Supposedly in Russian, though, they do refer to submarines as "swimming." Meanwhile, we ask whether computers can think, without really realizing that this question turns out to be simply a question about ...


7

Communication is always a lossy and inexact process. If I am trying to convey information to you - the times of trains, for example - I can use dates and times that I can be confident that you will interpret the same way I do. But you may not - I may say the train leaves at 8:40, and you assume I mean the morning, whereas I actually mean the evening. So ...


7

This is my current area of research (I'm a Ph.D. student in computer science and cognitive science). Like you said, there are a large number of readability/complexity metrics, but very little research trying to quantify what makes a piece of code psychologically complex. For more information on qualitative studies and models, I'd highly recommend the 2001 ...


7

The accepted answer by @krysta may not be the full story: it depends on the way words are repeated. I understand from @tsykora's question that words are repeated without a separation (syllables are produced at a fixed pace). Kounios et al. used spoken words (mean length of 544 milliseconds) that were repeated several times at a fixed interval of 800 ...


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

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

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 '...


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