speech

Our brains are more sensitive to pitch, the harmonic sounds we hear when listening to music, than our evolutionary relative the macaque monkey, new research has found. “We found that a certain region of our brains has a stronger preference for sounds with pitch than macaque monkey brains. The results raise the possibility that these… Read more

Have you ever found yourself finishing someone else’s sentences, even though you don’t really know them that well? Fortunately, the ability to predict what someone is going to say next isn’t the preserve of turtle doves or those in long-term relationships. Our brain processes all kinds of information to estimate what’s going to come next… Read more

A human brain area that regulates vocal pitch in both speech and song has been identified in new research by UC San Francisco scientists. Insights into pitch control could pave the way for advanced brain prosthetics that could allow people who can’t speak to express themselves in a naturalistic way. Humans are the only primates… Read more

Many studies have shown that musical training can enhance language skills. However, it was unknown whether music lessons improve general cognitive ability, leading to better language proficiency, or if the effect of music is more specific to language processing. A new study from MIT has found that piano lessons have a very specific effect on… Read more

The brain’s speech centers are organized more according to the physical needs of the vocal tract as it produces speech than by how the speech sounds (its “phonetics”), a new study by UC San Francisco scientists indicates. When we speak, we engage nearly 100 muscles, continuously moving our lips, jaw, tongue, and throat to shape… Read more