Folium: Foreign Accent Syndrome via SWNS

Folium: Foreign Accent Syndrome via SWNS

Folium: Foreign Accent Syndrome via SWNS

Creative Commons Media via Flickr User Zion Fiction

Folium: Foreign Accent Syndrome via SWNS via SWNS

The human brain is an amazing thing. It seems like the more we discover, the less we actually understand…

FAS, or “foreign accent syndrome”, affects only a few people in the entire world. Yet this disorder has gained national attention for its unique symptoms. This article highlights a British national, born in China but returned to England as an infant, and the migraine that permanently changed her speech patterns from an English country accent to English with a heavy Chinese accent.

Through MRI images, and other advanced brain scanning techniques, we know a little about how languages affect the different regions of the brain. We understand that communication in multiple languages can activate different nodes in the brain, and that  languages actually engage areas of the brain that are used by math and science.

I really can’t comment on the science of languages and neurochemistry, but the article demonstrates the incredible power of the human brain and our capacity to learn. Many students come to college with mental blocks, brought on by academic failures from the past.

“I can’t learn languages, it’s too hard… I’m too old… I’m not good at it… I’ll never remember it…”

Yet we see just how incredible the brain is at retaining information, especially sights and sounds. We don’t give our brains enough credit when it comes to learning, and confidence comes from the knowledge that we really do retain more than we think we do.

It’s sad to see traumatic events like migraines, impact injuries, and strokes fuel the research in this field. But the silver lining is that the research carries us forward in understanding the real power of our own minds.

Learning something is always better than learning nothing. Never stop learning!