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Article: Learning new color names produces rapid increase in gray matter in the intact adult human cortex

TitleLearning new color names produces rapid increase in gray matter in the intact adult human cortex
Authors
KeywordsAnatomy
Brain development
Neuro-plasticity
Whorf hypothesis
Issue Date2011
PublisherNational Academy of Sciences. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.pnas.org
Citation
Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 2011, v. 108 n. 16, p. 6686-6688 How to Cite?
AbstractThe human brain has been shown to exhibit changes in the volume and density of gray matter as a result of training over periods of several weeks or longer. We show that these changes can be induced much faster by using a training method that is claimed to simulate the rapid learning of word meanings by children. Using whole-brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) we show that learning newly defined and named subcategories of the universal categories green and blue in a period of 2 h increases the volume of gray matter in V2/3 of the left visual cortex, a region known to mediate color vision. This pattern of findings demonstrates that the anatomical structure of the adult human brain can change very quickly, specifically during the acquisition of new, named categories. Also, prior behavioral and neuroimaging research has shown that differences between languages in the boundaries of named color categories influence the categorical perception of color, as assessed by judgments of relative similarity, by response time in alternative forced-choice tasks, and by visual search. Moreover, further behavioral studies (visual search) and brain imaging studies have suggested strongly that the categorical effect of language on color processing is left-lateralized, i.e., mediated by activity in the left cerebral hemisphere in adults (hence "lateralized Whorfian" effects). The present results appear to provide a structural basis in the brain for the behavioral and neurophysiologically observed indices of these Whorfian effects on color processing.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/133745
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 9.423
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 6.883
PubMed Central ID
ISI Accession Number ID
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Ministry of Science and Technology of China2005CB522802
National Science Foundation0418404
Guangdong Natural Science Foundation on Task for Research Group06200524
National Natural Science Foundation of China
University of Hong Kong
Funding Information:

We thank Sandra Fung and Anna Huang for assistance with stimulus preparation and computer programming; Guiping Xu, Dong Daojing, Wei Zhou, Ding Wen, and Zhentao Zuo for help with conducting the experiment; and Wai Ting Siok and Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli for advice on image analysis. This research was supported by a 973 Grant from the National Strategic Basic Research Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2005CB522802), by National Science Foundation Grant 0418404, by the Guangdong Natural Science Foundation on Task for Research Group 06200524, by the National Natural Science Foundation of China 2011, and by the University of Hong Kong.

References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorKwok, Ven_HK
dc.contributor.authorNiu, Zen_HK
dc.contributor.authorKay, Pen_HK
dc.contributor.authorZhou, Ken_HK
dc.contributor.authorMo, Len_HK
dc.contributor.authorJin, Zen_HK
dc.contributor.authorSo, KFen_HK
dc.contributor.authorTan, LHen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2011-05-24T02:17:49Z-
dc.date.available2011-05-24T02:17:49Z-
dc.date.issued2011en_HK
dc.identifier.citationProceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 2011, v. 108 n. 16, p. 6686-6688en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0027-8424en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/133745-
dc.description.abstractThe human brain has been shown to exhibit changes in the volume and density of gray matter as a result of training over periods of several weeks or longer. We show that these changes can be induced much faster by using a training method that is claimed to simulate the rapid learning of word meanings by children. Using whole-brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) we show that learning newly defined and named subcategories of the universal categories green and blue in a period of 2 h increases the volume of gray matter in V2/3 of the left visual cortex, a region known to mediate color vision. This pattern of findings demonstrates that the anatomical structure of the adult human brain can change very quickly, specifically during the acquisition of new, named categories. Also, prior behavioral and neuroimaging research has shown that differences between languages in the boundaries of named color categories influence the categorical perception of color, as assessed by judgments of relative similarity, by response time in alternative forced-choice tasks, and by visual search. Moreover, further behavioral studies (visual search) and brain imaging studies have suggested strongly that the categorical effect of language on color processing is left-lateralized, i.e., mediated by activity in the left cerebral hemisphere in adults (hence "lateralized Whorfian" effects). The present results appear to provide a structural basis in the brain for the behavioral and neurophysiologically observed indices of these Whorfian effects on color processing.en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherNational Academy of Sciences. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.pnas.orgen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of Americaen_HK
dc.rightsNational Academy of Sciences. Proceedings. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences.-
dc.subjectAnatomyen_HK
dc.subjectBrain developmenten_HK
dc.subjectNeuro-plasticityen_HK
dc.subjectWhorf hypothesisen_HK
dc.titleLearning new color names produces rapid increase in gray matter in the intact adult human cortexen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0027-8424&volume=108&issue=16&spage=6686–6688&epage=&date=2011&atitle=Learning+new+color+names+produces+rapid+increase+in+gray+matter+in+the+intact+adult+human+cortex-
dc.identifier.emailSo, KF: hrmaskf@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.emailTan, LH: tanlh@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authoritySo, KF=rp00329en_HK
dc.identifier.authorityTan, LH=rp01202en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_OA_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1073/pnas.1103217108en_HK
dc.identifier.pmid21464316-
dc.identifier.pmcidPMC3081005-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-79955595383en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros185156en_US
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-79955595383&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume108en_HK
dc.identifier.issue16en_HK
dc.identifier.spage6686en_HK
dc.identifier.epage6688en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000289680400069-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Statesen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridKwok, V=36971764900en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridNiu, Z=23393033800en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridKay, P=7102087705en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridZhou, K=36246938500en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridMo, L=35237797900en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridJin, Z=46961272300en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridSo, KF=34668391300en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridTan, LH=7402233462en_HK
dc.identifier.citeulike9173950-

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