Posted in biology, communication and networking, music

Mother Tongue

I have (I think) featured this archive before of different recordings of regional voices. Well, here’s the latest research they’ve been using it for; thanks NPR:


Dave Menke, US Fish and Wildlife


New research suggests that our brains have a built-in bias against people whose accents don’t sound like our own.

That’s the conclusion of Scottish researchers who presented their work at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego.

The team, from the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh, used a functional MRI scanner to study the brains of 20 native Scots as they listened to native English speakers with Scottish, American and southern English accents. They focused on the brain’s temporal voice area, which seems to specialize in processing characteristics of particular voices.

Earlier research had found that people process words spoken in their own accent more quickly and with less effort. So the team expected the brain scans would show a decrease in brain activity in this area.

Instead, the scans showed a “huge increase,” says Patricia Bestelmeyer of the University of Glasgow.

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Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.