Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Pleasure of Learning New Words

Recent research shows that learning new words triggers the reward circuits of our brain—making it a pleasure to learn and study terminology.  Like you didn't already know that!

In a study published in the journal Current Biology, researchers have experimentally proved that human adult word learning exhibits activation not only of language regions of the cerebral cortex, but also of the ventral striatum (VS)—a core region of reward processing.

Results confirm that the motivation to learn new words is preserved throughout the lifespan, helping infants learn their first language and adults to acquire a second language.

Want to know more?

The Role of Reward in Word Learning and Its Implications for Language Acquisition
  • P Ripoll├ęs, et al. Current Biology. 3 November 2014. Vol 24. Issue 21. DOI:
  • Original research article.

Learning a new word stimulates the same region of the brain as sex
  • F. MacDonald  Science Alert. 29 OCT 2014
  • Plain English summary of the research.

Photo: adapted from Landesbibliotek
Some content adapted from a press release.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Learning Terminology for Beginners

Here's a brief introduction to learning the new terminology of  a medical, clinical, or human science course. As you might guess, learning the terminology of such a course is the necessary first step that leads to understanding of the core concepts.

This is a brief video that I made to help beginning learners understand the terminology of human anatomy and physiology (A&P)—but the principles apply to any use of medical and anatomical terminology.

This introductory presentation explains the basic principle of word parts and how they are combined to produce a term.