Neuroscientists identify key role of language gene
Neuroscientists have found that a gene mutation that arose more than half a million years ago may be key to humans’ unique ability to produce and understand speech. Researchers from MIT and several European universities have shown that the human version of a gene called Foxp2 makes it easier to transform new experiences into routine procedures. When they engineered mice to express humanized Foxp2, the mice learned to run a maze much more quickly than normal mice. The findings suggest that Foxp2 may help humans with a key component of learning language — transforming experiences, such as hearing the word “glass” when we are shown a glass of water, into a nearly automatic association of that word with objects that look and function like glasses, says Ann Graybiel, an MIT Institute Professor, member of MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and a senior author of the study. “This really is an important brick in the wall saying that the form of the gene that allowed us to speak may have something to do with a special kind of learning, which takes us from having to make conscious associations in order to act to a nearly automatic-pilot way of acting based on the cues around us,” Graybiel says. Wolfgang Enard, a professor of anthropology and human genetics at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Germany, is also a senior author of the study, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week. The paper’s lead authors are Christiane Schreiweis, a former visiting graduate student at MIT, and Ulrich Bornschein of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany. All animal species communicate with each other, but humans have a unique ability to generate and comprehend language. Foxp2 is one of several genes that scientists believe may have contributed to the development of these linguistic skills. The gene was first identified in a group of family members who had severe difficulties in speaking and understanding speech, and who were found to carry a mutated version of the Foxp2 gene. In 2009, Svante Pääbo, director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and his team engineered mice to express the human form of the Foxp2 gene, which encodes a protein that differs from the mouse version by only two amino acids. His team found that these mice had longer dendrites — the slender extensions that neurons use to communicate with each other — in the striatum, a part of the brain implicated in habit formation. They were also better at forming new synapses, or connections between neurons. (via Neuroscientists identify key role of language gene — ScienceDaily)
Romanian on the top left wooooooo
"Would whites feel comfortable living in a predominantly white community policed by an overwhelmingly black force? …Reverse the numbers and reflect; that’s all I ask."-
They’d be terrified.
Shocking Truths Behind What Cat Behaviors Really Mean…
my cat must trust me to death. He never attacks when you rub his belly, but he will push your hand to his head like you better get to rubbing.
"Be there for others but never leave yourself behind."-Dodinsky (via onlinecounsellingcollege)
"Trust the vibes you get, energy doesn’t lie."-(via shanharlin)
Rihanna is not happy with CBS’s decision to cancel her performance before last week’s Thursday Night Football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens.
Sensing that an appearance by the singer — who was the victim of a highly publicized domestic abuse incident herself — might bring them some bad press in the wake of the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal, the network decided to scrap her show. Rihanna wasn’t pleased
Protecting the men and their image over the victims and survivors
Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you still have time to sleep
me and you and our dogs all sleeping together on our king sized bed
If I date you,
I see myself marrying you.
I see myself building with you.
I see myself growing with you.
I don’t date just to pass time.
I’m dating you because I see potential in you.