He Language processing is different when reading alone than accompanied by another person, according to a study carried out by professors and researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid and researchers from the Carlos III Health Institute published in the journal Cortex.
According to this work, when we read in company, the recorded brain electrical activity indicates that language processing would be more heuristicIn other words, more global, controlled, inclusive and possibly more creative.
“However, when reading alone, language processing would be more algorithmic, that is to say, more automatic, restricted and subject to rules “, explains Laura Jiménez Ortega, researcher at the Department of Psychobiology at the UCM and at the UCM-ISCIII Center for Human Evolution and Behavior
To check the effect of company and loneliness on understanding language, brain electrical activity was measured by electroencephalogram (EEG).
The participants read sentences that contained syntactic or semantic errors, half the time alone and the other half accompanied. When they were accompanied, activity was observed in the precuneus, an area of the brain involved in social and attentional processing. Further, language understanding became more global and inclusive in comparison with the situation in which they read the sentences in isolation.
In the social situation, in the face of syntactic errors, a characteristic electrical activity pattern of semantic processing (N400) appeared, which is conceived as more heuristic and integrated. However, in the isolation situation a LAN appeared, a more automatic and earlier pattern of brain electrical activity.
The circumstances of isolation experienced by the coronavirus pandemic They have become a great opportunity, which is helping us to change our perspective and investigate more the social aspects of behavior and language understanding.
“It is necessary to start considering, more if possible, social keys both in research, as well as in educational and professional environments where language understanding plays a fundamental role. Since the company would favor a more creative and integrative understanding and isolation, a more detailed and systematic processing “, concludes Jiménez Ortega