Saturday, February 11, 2006

Via CogNews: Words help deterimine what we see

The language we speak affects half of what we see, according to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago.

Scholars have long debated whether our native language affects how we perceive reality � and whether speakers of different languages might therefore see the world differently. The idea that language affects perception is controversial, and results have conflicted. A paper published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences supports the idea � but with a twist.

The paper suggests that language affects perception in the right half of the visual field, but much less, if at all, in the left half. The paper, "Whorf Hypothesis is Supported in the Right Visual Field but not in the Left," by Aubrey Gilbert, Terry Regier, Paul Kay, and Richard Ivry � is the first to propose that language may shape just half of our visual world.[Read more.]

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