The Amazing Human Mind.

Via on Apr 30, 2012
via Jennifer Townsend

Your mind is amazing.

It allows you to read this:

“I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid! Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt !”

No doubt you’ve seen this or something like it before. One takeaway here is that our minds are phenomenal. A second lesson is an important reminder that we need to be cautious in our assumptions, not race through everything and take time to listen to each other—and not just fill in the gaps of what we think is being said.

Relephant and awesome Ted Talks bonus on how we acquire language:

 

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About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. Her love of words is boundless, but she knows that many of life’s best moments are completely untranslatable. When she is not writing, you may find her practicing yoga, devouring a book, playing with her children, planting dandelions, or dancing barefoot with her heart on her sleeve. She is madly in love with life and does not know how this story ends; she’s making it up as she goes. Kate is the owner and editor-in-chief of Be You Media Group. She also writes for The Huffington Post, elephant journal, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, Yoganonymous, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. She facilitates writing workshops and retreats throughout North America. Heart Medicine, Kate's book on writing, is now available on Amazon.com You can follow Kate on Facebook and Twitter

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7 Responses to “The Amazing Human Mind.”

  1. Eric says:

    I deg to biffer. I somehow acquired the ability to speak Squirrel sometime in my mid to late 20's. This, of course, confounds my dog to no end….

  2. Brian Culkin brianculkin says:

    I love this post. … 'The interaction of symbols and the mind produce reality.'

    Thx for sharing

  3. yogasamurai says:

    First of all, you do realize that this "scientist" is actually BAT SHIT crazy?

    Her "tests" aren't that scientific. For one thing, "exposure" to the stimuli of the other language? Is this merely hearing the language or being encouraged and actually taught to say the language? It's an important difference, and it's unclear from what she shows exactly what the exposure amounts to.

    And if you look at the numbers involved, one way or the other, the percentage shifts from the exposure are very small. Scientists are known to make much of such small numbers, but I remain unconvinced that she's effectively tested anything.

    And what is she really measuring anyway? The "genius" of the child, or its utter impressionability in the presence of a care provider? Yes, I can get you to sound a little more Japanese if I bombard you with the language for 6 weeks?

    (What was that song? "I'm turning Japanesa, I'm turning Japanesa, I really think so.")

    Overall, I think there is a real rigidity in her perspective about cultural and linguistic differences, and her "theory" fails to explain the extreme variation in the ability of adults to learn new languages (age isn't the only factor). If she had studied bilingual children, she would see that even the dynamics among children aren't are exclusive as she suggests.

    I had zero exposure to Spanish growing up but once I hit high school I took to it like a fish to water? Why? You tell me?
    I must have a superior genius brain that outlived its "genius" period? Goddamn I'm special!

    Or maybe it's because I am descended from Sephardic Jews in Spain, and I am hard-wired for receptivity to Spanish, even though I am 400-500 years separated from that "legacy"? Sounds promising, maybe it's an "ancestral legacy"?
    Okay, but how come my brother doesn't have this same ability? Did I alone inherit my father's Spanish "gene"?

    Doctor X seems to assume that babies are the proverbial "tabula rasas," blank slates, and that the early outer influence is all powerful. But what are the babies bringing to the table to begin with?

    She sounds like so many Western scientists who start with these questionable (usually culture-bound) assumptions, and they would just love to re-engineer the entire world in their own strange image. I think it's HOOEY and I find Doctor X a bit SCARY to boot?

    Consider how the power of the word OM unites people across ALL cultural and linguistic boundaries. As adults, there are sounds that seem to take us out of our culturally and linguistically separate universes, and bring us to a common, maybe even deeper, place? Or consider the power of music, and musical sounds, to do the same thing?

    Don't you think she makes us seem more divided, and more hard-wired for division, than we really are? Oh thank God for the Mad Scientist who can help put our broken-and-divided-at-seven Humpty Dumpty world back together again!

    Thanks Kate! I actually enjoyed the post. It's an interesting topic, but it tends to confirm my experience-based prejudice that most of my fellow academicians – especially those with tenure and a TV camera – are on loan from the asylum, and should be returned there nightly – for yoga!

    "We are the world, we are the children…"

    NAMMIE

  4. [...] the experience of this human mind. Though I cannot imagine the gravitational pull of such a place, the awesome power of the mind and the vast realms of the inner territories are here now, in this mind and in this experience of [...]

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