HOW LANGUAGE CHANGES WORLDVIEW & HOW HEMISPHERIC BRAIN FUNCTION DEEPENS THAT PROCESS

Posted: April 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

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Part One: The Conversation – 27 APR 2015              

Bilinguals get all the perks.

Better job prospects, a cognitive boost and even protection against dementia.

Now new research shows that they can also view the world in different ways depending on the specific language they are operating in.

The past 15 years have witnessed an overwhelming amount of research on the bilingual mind, with the majority of the evidence pointing to the tangible advantages of using more than one language.

Going back and forth between languages appears to be a kind of brain training, pushing your brain to be flexible.

Just as regular exercise gives your body some biological benefits, mentally controlling two or more languages gives your brain cognitive benefits.

This mental flexibility pays big dividends especially later in life: the typical signs of cognitive ageing occur later in bilinguals – and the onset of age-related degenerative disorders such as dementia or Alzheimer’s are delayed in bilinguals by up to five years.

Germans know where they’re going

In research we recently published in Psychological Science, we studied German-English bilinguals and monolinguals to find out how different language patterns affected how they reacted in experiments.

We showed German-English bilinguals video clips of events with a motion in them, such as a woman walking towards a car or a man cycling towards the supermarket and then asked them to describe the scenes.

When you give a scene like that to a monolingual German speaker they will tend to describe the action but also the goal of the action.

So they would tend to say “A woman walks towards her car” or “a man cycles towards the supermarket”.

English monolingual speakers would simply describe those scenes as “A woman is walking” or “a man is cycling”, without mentioning the goal of the action.

The worldview assumed by German speakers is a holistic one – they tend to look at the event as a whole – whereas English speakers tend to zoom in on the event and focus only on the action.

The linguistic basis of this tendency appears to be rooted in the way different grammatical tool kits situated actions in time.

English requires its speakers to grammatically mark events that are ongoing, by obligatorily applying the –ing morpheme:

“I am playing the piano and I cannot come to the phone” or “I was playing the piano when the phone rang”.

German doesn’t have this feature.

Research with second language users shows a relationship between linguistic proficiency in such grammatical constructions and the frequency with which speakers mention the goals of events.

In our study we also found that these cross-linguistic differences extend beyond language usage itself, to nonverbal categorization of events.

We asked English and German monolinguals to watch a series of video clips that showed people walking, biking, running, or driving.

In each set of three videos, we asked subjects to decide whether a scene with an ambiguous goal (a woman walks down a road toward a parked car) was more similar to a clearly goal-oriented scene (a woman walks into a building) or a scene with no goal (a woman walks down a country lane).

German monolinguals matched ambiguous scenes with goal-oriented scenes more frequently than English monolinguals did.

This difference mirrors the one found for language usage:

German speakers are more likely to focus on possible outcomes of people’s actions, but English speakers pay more attention to the action itself.

Switch languages, change perspective

When it came to bilingual speakers, they seemed to switch between these perspectives based on the language context they were given the task in.

We found that Germans fluent in English were just as goal-focused as any other native speaker when tested in German in their home country.

But a similar group of German-English bilinguals tested in English in the United Kingdom were just as action-focused as native English speakers.

In another group of German-English bilinguals, we kept one language in the forefront of their minds during the video-matching task by making participants repeat strings of numbers out loud in either English or German. Distracting one language seemed to automatically bring the influence of the other language to the fore.

When we “blocked” English, the bilinguals acted like typical Germans and saw ambiguous videos as more goal-oriented. With German blocked, bilingual subjects acted like English speakers and matched ambiguous and open-ended scenes.

When we surprised subjects by switching the language of the distracting numbers halfway through the experiment, the subjects’ focus on goals versus process switched right along with it.

These findings are in line with other research showing distinct behavior in bilinguals depending on the language of operation.

Israeli Arabs are more likely to associate Arab names such as Ahmed and Samir with positive words in an Arabic language context than in a Hebrew one, for example.

People self-report that they feel like a different person when using their different languages and that expressing certain emotions carries different emotional resonance depending on the language they are using.

When judging risk, bilinguals also tend to make more rational economic decisions in a second language.

In contrast to one’s first language, it tends to lack the deep-seated, misleading affective biases that unduly influence how risks and benefits are perceived.

So the language you speak in really can affect the way you think.

The ConversationBy Panos Athanasopoulos, Lancaster University

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/04/how-the-language-you-speak-changes-your-view-of-the-world/

Part Two: Integrating the Left and Right Brain

By Laura Weber-The Mind Unleashed-Feb 17, 2014

Those of us alive on the planet during this unique time in human history have truly chosen an exciting time to exist.  

We live during a time where many ancient prophecies are upon us and where the rate of the expansion and acceleration of consciousness is increasing exponentially; a time of apocalypse if you will.  

The word apocalypse finds it’s origin in the Greek language meaning to uncover, reveal, or disclose.  Apocalypse is the perfect description for the current shift happening.

Previously hidden knowledge, spiritual concepts, and energy technologies are being revealed throughout the collective consciousness.  

Generally speaking what are considered ‘new age’ ideas to some, are more accurately ancient knowledge, sciences, and understandings.  

Our ancestors, wherever they may find origin, seemed to have a more intimate and activated relationship with the world and the universe than most of us are accustomed to today.  

Finally the time has come for us to re-connect with this knowledge.  

Traditional systems of medicine such as Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and many schools of herbalism are becoming widely practiced again.  

Meditation, astral travel, lucid dreaming, and higher dimensions are becoming common terms in many circles and we are re-discovering and developing new technologies for transportation, power, and permaculture.  

Yet, this precious cosmic knowledge presents our modern logical minds with a dilemma at times.

Throughout our lives our educational system, the tone of our culture, our politics, and the role of modern sciences and technology in our world can lead to a greatly developed logical and analytical mind while at times systematically de-activating our intuitive mind.  

At the moment of planetary shift, we are still the product of colonization, the dark ages, and the long-term suppression of knowledge.  

It seems we are in a place of choosing between the logical experience and the intuitive one; to choose either thinking or feeling, but not both.  

In this way, we are at risk of going from one state of imbalance to another.  

Therefore, as seekers of expanded consciousness, it is especially important in our left-brained culture to honor a balancing of both aspects of our dualistic brains.  

We must understand that we need not accept every piece of information that comes our way if it doesn’t register with us both intuitively and logically.

Luckily, in roughly the past 30-40 years we have seen a gradual increase in scientific research and logical analysis of concepts that have previously fallen into the category of imaginary or unexplainable phenomena.  

A primary cause for this lapse in understanding could be that the scientific field is actually in some ways not caught up to the level of knowledge being disseminated.  

For instance, certain energies we speak of such as those of the various layers of the auric field may be or may have been too fine to be sensed by the instruments currently available for research.  

Take also for example the major reigning theories in the field of physics.  

For a long time Newtonian physics held that we lived in a material world of solid physical objects.  

We now understand that everything we perceive is an expression of vibration in a virtual hologram.  

The beauty of scientific thought in it’s regularity and insistence on process is also it’s weakness in progression.  

A quantum leap in understanding in one field such as physics, may reveal a lapse within the perspectives of other fields which could take a very significant amount of time to catch up.  

To also consider the role of corporate and governmental investment in the suppression of certain technologies being available would be another article entirely.

When we consider the revolutionizing of the scientific process, visionaries in the scientific fields such as Einstein and Tesla come to mind.  

Upon examination, both were individuals who applied passion, excitement, and intuition to their airtight scientific processes and thereby originated concepts and technologies that completely changed, and are still changing the world.  

We can take a lesson from this in our personal life.

Thinking again to our upbringing and education we will see that for many of us, if we spoke of other dimensional phenomena or responded to our intuitions as children, we were quickly taught by adults in our lives that this was silly.  

Our experiences were dismissed or ignored.  

This follows through in our education to a far greater degree.  

The focus of institutional education is on information recall, retention, conformity, etc.  

Many students are still lucky enough to receive small amounts of training in art, music, and creative fields, yet we are also often told that we can expect no future in these things, and are more encouraged in fields of science, business, technology, or mathematics.  

While there is nothing wrong with these fields in and of themselves, the philosophy behind our training as youth is heavily imbalanced toward the value of information over free-thinking and conformity over expression.  

Because of this conditioning, there is extra work to be done and many parts of our minds and abilities are yet to be fully explored and integrated.

Take for example the western scientific view of herbalism as compared to a traditional system of herbalism.  

From a purely logical viewpoint, the value of any one plant as a medicinal substance would be analyzed in a very methodical way.  

Trials would be done, constituents of the plant would be chemically analyzed, and conclusions would be reached as to the efficacy, safety, or suggested use of that plant or it’s constituents.  

In an intuitive system of herbalism, a plant may be connected with as opposed to analyzed.  

It will be understood and considered according not only to how it acts physically as a medicine, but also according to it’s energetic qualities.

In many herbal medicine systems plants are described as having ‘cooling’ or ‘heating’ properties or they may be described as ‘dampening’ or ‘drying’.  

These terms are describing the essence or the feeling of that plant.  In traditional plant medicine of indigenous peoples throughout the world, the spirit inherent in a plant is communicated with as an autonomous expression of consciousness, a being.  

In cases like these, patient and practitioner alike generally have a strong belief in the potency of the plant based on systematic experience and based on intuition.  

This type of medicine can have astonishing results.  

Is this merely the placebo effect?  

Is the placebo effect not merely further proof that the feelings and intuition guide the outcomes of our perceived reality?  

We can see where the line between the logical mind the intuitive mind becomes blurred.  

In this blurry zone is a very powerful place of meeting and integration.  

Certainly we will find that this distinction becomes more and more difficult to make as we continue on our path of conscious evolution.

Our brilliance and expansion does not happen with the exclusive expression of a part of ourselves accompanied by the complete denial of another.  

The miracles of expansion, discovery, and expression are born when we learn to honor and integrate both dualistic expressions of the self in this dualistic dimensionality.  

Integrating the “I think” self and the “I feel” self makes way for the “I know” self.  

And from the space of knowingness all expansion, brilliance, and creation comes.

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/02/integrating-left-right-brain.html

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