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19

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 ...


19

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 ...


15

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 ...


11

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. ...


10

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 ...


10

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 ...


10

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 ...


8

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 ...


8

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 subject experience of satiation increases as the N400 amplitude decreases) without any change to upstream sensory components. As N400 amplitude indexes initial lexical ...


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

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 ...


6

So how much information is lost when one person is trying to convey these personal experiences with another person? Will actions carry more relevant data than words when explaining a personal experience? I believe this really depends completely upon both what specific words you use to describe the experience / emotion as well as the experiences and ...


6

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 ...


6

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. ...


5

This question is pretty broad, but perhaps these studies address your question. In 2006, Daniel Oppenheimer won an Ig Nobel prize for his paper Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly, which demonstrated that using overly-complex words when a simpler word would suffice resulted in ...


5

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 ...


5

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. ...


5

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 ...


4

I believe motherese exists to teach the infant to discriminate phonemes in the native language. Kuhl et al. (2005) show that during the first year language critical period, infants gain an increased ability to discriminate between phonemes of the native language, while their ability to discriminate between phonemes of non-native languages declines. ...


4

This question gets close to something that might alternatively be posted to stats.stackoverflow.com. Personally, I've always felt that application of Null-Hypothesis Significance Testing (NHST) methods to neuroimaging data does a particularly good job of highlighting their scientific deficiencies. Personally, these days I'd use Generalized Additive ...


4

A few thoughts (this is not my area): This article on speech errors on Wikipedia is informative. The article provides a review types of speech errors. The classification of speech errors is presumably similar to writing errors. What I take from the article, and other research on errors, is that there is plenty of structure to errors. I think an information ...


4

My understanding was that at least some sub-vocalisation is a normal part of reading and writing. The wikipedia article on subvocalisation cites several sources supporting that claim. The article also claims that there is no evidence to suggest that speed reading training that involves suppression of sub-vocalisation is effective. There is also evidence that ...


4

There's a quite active line of research (and debate) in experimental psychology and cognitive science on this. It often goes under the rubric of the "Sapir-Whorf hypothesis". I only know some of the work in this domain, but I would suggesting checking out research (experiments, not just armchair discussion) by Lera Boroditsky and Gary Lupyan.


4

The clarification suggests a somewhat different question. Since you ask if this is at all possible, I will answer based purely on my own personal subjective experience. English is not my native language, I learned it as a teenager/adult (not during my childhood), I still have a rather strong accent, a distinctively “non-native” style in writing, difficulties ...


4

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 ...


3

I'm not sure what you mean by cognitive capacity, but I absolutely believe that language shapes the way we think. The collective nouns, verbs, and phrases of a language are the categories by which a culture interprets things. Consider seizures. Our culture may call them seizures, and a doctor might posit that their cause is epilepsy (or something). That's ...



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