How The Brain Perceives Images and Relate Words

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Many of us believe that whatever things we perceive in this world, reaches at a common region, where meaning of many other things are also recognized. Things that we perceive can reach this common region either through our ears or through our eyes, says psychologist Mary C. Potter from Massachusetts Institute of technology. If this was in actual then one can expect there to be a problem while mining meanings simultaneously from various sources. Potter and her colleagues were astonished by the new findings which shall be soon published in a journal Psychology Science. They performed an experiment and asked few participants to perform two different tasks at one time. One task was visual and the other was linguistic. These participants performed the task without any hiccup. But handling two different tasks slowed them.

An experiment was conducted on 96 participants where they were shown images of unrelated scenes. Each image was shown for 4 seconds. Then these participants were shown 10 more scenes at random of which some were new and few were similar. They were also asked to remember the scenes through word labels. In another experiment, each scene had a word in the centre. The words made non-sensical sentences. Then these participants were tested for memory of the scenes and words. Another experiment of visual recognition task was conducted where the participants were asked to press a button when the density of grid lines which appeared in the centre of image changed.

In the article published at, it was said that “A crucial part of linguistic functions is understanding language. In right-handed people, this is a task of the Wernicke’s area, located in the left temporal cortex. Left-handed people can process language understanding in either the left or right temporal cortex.”

“A lesion in the Wernicke’s area of the brain has been shown to cause so called fluent aphasia, or inability to understand language. The left hemisphere, however, is not the only processing language. Language components such as sarcasm, metaphors and humor are processed in the right hemisphere.”

The results showed that individual who did linguistic task did well no matter if the images or words were shown together or not. But individuals who did grid line experiment had some difficulty in performing two tasks at one time. The findings are consistent with the unified system theory, though Potter believes that the system probably operated later in the process.



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