Can you like return your brain to when u were five

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eilishbillie987
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10 Apr 2019, 3:24 am

So u can absorb a language quickly like when u were five but everuthibg else remains the same



Gromit
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12 Apr 2019, 3:54 pm

Are you thinking of this? Oxytocin-dependent reopening of a social reward learning critical period with MDMA Also here: Podcast: MDMA and the malleable mind, and keeping skin young

If it were known how to restore a critical period for language learning, that would be big news in science. I haven't heard of anything like it, so if anyone knows how to do it, I think it hasn't yet been published. More likely, nobody know whether this is even possible.



mr_bigmouth_502
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12 Apr 2019, 7:22 pm

I was just starting to speak for myself when I was five. I don't know when I spoke my first word, but it wasn't until I was 4 1/2 that I talked much.


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shortfatbalduglyman
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13 Apr 2019, 8:49 pm

Not with existing technology

If that changes, it will cost $$$$



TheCleverWitch
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14 Jun 2019, 10:30 pm

eilishbillie987 wrote:
So u can absorb a language quickly like when u were five but everuthibg else remains the same

Hey there! This is kind of a "mostly no, but maybe a little" answer. I hope it helps.

No, you can never reproduce the same ease of language acquisition, but that doesn't mean you can't become quite competent or even fluent. Here's part of the "No": Younger brains have greater elasticity than adult brains, and one of the areas that this makes the most difference is in regard to phonological development (how we learn to perceive and replicate sounds). When we're very young, we can tell the difference between all the different sounds a human can make. As we're exposed to the languages of those around us, our brains learn to tell the difference between which phonological distinctions matter and which don't. So for example, a baby exposed to English will learn that the difference between [p] and [b] matters - pat and bat are not the same word - but a baby exposed exclusively to Arabic will learn to consider those essentially the same sound. On the other hand, there's two different types of l's in Arabic - one that sounds like the sound at the beginning of 'lever,' or a "light l," and one that sounds like the sound at the end of 'all,' or a "dark l." The Arabic baby would learn that this distinction is important, but the English baby would not. When the difference between two sounds matters in a given language, those sounds are called phonemes. When it doesn't matter, they're called allophones. The ability to intuitively know when a sound is a phoneme or an allophone is an integral part of verbal communication (you don't have to know about them consciously, your brain does this subconsciously). For infants, the process of learning this is automatic and easy. Adults definitely CAN learn to tell the difference between sounds that don't matter in a non-native tongue, but it's a lot more difficult; it requires training yourself to hear Sound A when you've spent years telling yourself it's identical to Sound B. Some people don't ever manage, but many do (and immersion certainly helps). Even those who continue to struggle recognizing phonemes can still be totally fluent speakers; it just means that they may have an accent,sometimes mispronounce a word, or need to seek clarification occasionally.

As for the "maybe a little": a component of child-like language skills that you CAN reacquire is the shamelessness with which children practice. When you hear babies babbling, they're not just making totally random noise; they're experimenting with their mouth, working to make it replicate the sounds they hear from those around them. And as children age, they often talk and talk and talk, regardless of how many 'mistakes' or 'errors' they make. And if they receive correction, most children keep right on going, without any of the embarrassment older learners so frequently feel. If you can become comfortable simply practicing the noises of your target language and convince yourself that it's totally okay to make - and be corrected on - mistakes, you'll have made a significant step to learning more quickly.