Findings indicate that literacy enhanced functional connectivity between auditory processing areas and graphomotor areas in brain
A study by University of Hyderabad (UoH) researchers and others on the human brain’s capabilities, has brought forth the fact that the usage of Indian scripts, specifically Devanagari, influences brain networks relevant for speech and attention differently as compared to alphabetic scripts like English.
As part of the study, 91 Hindi-speaking participants with varying literacy levels participated in an fMRI study. Twenty-two illiterate participants were trained to read and write Hindi over six months following which they participated in visual and auditory sentence-processing tasks.
Contrary to existing evidence that highlights the role of literacy in modifying how we process speech; the results suggest that such an impact of literacy cannot be generalized across different scripts, a UoH’s release stated.
The findings also indicate that literacy enhanced functional connectivity between auditory processing areas and graphomotor areas in the brain.
This implies significant coupling between hand-motor regions (writing) and auditory processing areas while the participants processed sentences. “Thus, the potential role of writing cannot be ignored while we explore the role of literacy on speech processing,” the researchers point out.
The research paper titled ‘How does literacy affect speech processing?’ Not by enhancing cortical responses to speech, but by promoting connectivity of acoustic-phonetic and graphomotor cortices by Prof. Ramesh Mishra, Head, Centre for Neural and Cognitive Sciences, University of Hyderabad (UoH) and others have been published in the prestigious Journal of Neuroscience.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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