Argentine neurolinguist wins Ig Nobel Prize for studies on reverse speech | Award sponsored by Harvard University

he Argentine neurolinguist Adolfo Garcia. She, along with researchers from other countries, announced on Friday that she had… Ig Nobel Prizewhich is granted with support from Harvard alumni to Scientific works that “make you laugh first and then think” With the aim of “celebrating the extraordinary, honoring imagination and stimulating people’s interest in science, medicine and technology”.

Recognition was obtained for A neuroscientific study of backward speech, in people who can speak backwardsduring the 33rd annual awards ceremony, a kind of parody of the real Nobel Prize winners, which was held yesterday via webcast.

“Our study on reverse speech has been awarded the Ig Nobel Prize! Congratulations to María José Torres Priores, Diana López Barroso, Estela Cámara, Sol Fittipaldi, Lucas Cedeño, Agustín Ibáñez and Marcelo Bertier,” García noted on his social networks. “We have received the award from the hands of Esther Duflo.”

“The award is given by Harvard alumni for research that ‘first makes you laugh, then think.’ One of the most notable achievements of our study in the neuroscience of reverse speech.”published today on the social network

The ability to process language is a hallmark of the human brain. Neuroscientists have been investigating this phenomenon for a long time, focusing on key everyday tasks such as Read words, produce sentences, or learn new languages. However, from time to time Some key findings come from studying weird and silly language skills. A statement about this distinction explained: “This is the path taken by Argentine neuroscientist Adolfo García in a study conducted on people who can speak backwards.”

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The study is titled “Neurocognitive signatures of phonetic sequences in expert retarded speakers.” (Neurocognitive recordings of vocal sequences in specialized reversing loudspeakers) Conducted by award-winning researchers and published by the journal Scientific reports.

“I discovered that Principal photographer for an entertainment magazine He had a habit of talking backwards. For example, Instead of saying “Long live the tango”, I’ll say “ognat le aviv”. Upon receiving the award, Garcia explained, according to a statement issued by the researcher himself, that during long photography sessions with the models, he would talk to them in reverse, record their pronunciation and then reverse the sound to pass the time laughing. Garcia interviewed this person and confirmed that his ability to speak backwards was “exceptional.”

Then he discovered that there wasIn the Argentine Association of Reverse Speakers, who come together to speak using reverse phrases. Hence an experimental design to explore this strange ability.

“We ended up calling in several reverse speakers and built the strangest stimuli in our careers so that they and normal people could produce different words, phrases, and sentences back and forth,” Garcia continued.

As the researcher explained Reverse speech is “an excellent model for studying a fundamental aspect of human speech: the ability to sequence phonemes (sound categories in a language).”

In this sense, he explained that:Reverse speech involves changing the order of phonemes while maintaining their identity“So people who practice it constantly must have specific brain patterns to handle their heightened sound sequencing skills.”

The researchers assessed participants’ performance on regular and reversed speech tasks, and afterwards They measured gray matter density, white matter integrity, and the functional connectivity of their brains. They found that the reverse speakers, compared to the control group, “were better at reversing speech, however They had no advantages in ordinary speech“.

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“These findings reveal that heightened sound sequencing abilities depend on large brain networks that extend beyond classical phonetic circuits, and Supporting the view that the human mind can develop specific pathways depending on the linguistic demands we place on it in our daily lives“He finished.

Since 1991, the IG Nobel Prizes have honored researchers in various categories during a ceremony sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students and the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Society.

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