“Scientists have created an “atlas of the brain” that reveals how the meanings of words are arranged across different regions of the organ”, The Guardian reports.
The colourful atlas shows how words and the concepts they create can be grouped together in clumps of white matter.
The “atlas” shows how words like “top”, for example, means that one part of the brain will reliably respond to other words related to clothing.
However, the word “top” also activates many other regions.
“One of them responds to numbers and measurements, another to buildings and places.” (The Guardian).
The Guardian goes on to report that “the group has begun work on new atlases that show how the brain holds information on other aspects of language, from phonemes to syntax.”
This is very exciting for us, as scientists will begin to learn more about what happens to the brain as we decode words. We wonder if they’ll find anyone associating the sound “æ” with the Ant in Pink Pants?
You can explore the “brain atlas” in full with the scientists’ interactive brain here.