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Woman and baby chimpanzee face to face, as if they were talking to each other
Could a Less Complex Larynx Have Enabled Speech in Humans?
A paper argues that the evolutionary loss of a thin vocal membrane in the larynx may have facilitated oral communication.  
Could a Less Complex Larynx Have Enabled Speech in Humans?
Could a Less Complex Larynx Have Enabled Speech in Humans?

A paper argues that the evolutionary loss of a thin vocal membrane in the larynx may have facilitated oral communication.  

A paper argues that the evolutionary loss of a thin vocal membrane in the larynx may have facilitated oral communication.  

speech
speech talking respiratory droplets sars-cov-2 coronavirus pandemic covid-19
Droplets from Speech Can Float in Air for Eight Minutes: Study
Kerry Grens | May 15, 2020 | 3 min read
The experiments did not involve SARS-CoV-2, but researchers say the results support precautions to avoid possibly spreading COVID-19 by talking.
Artificial Intelligence Decodes Speech from Brain Activity: Study
Lisa Winter | Mar 31, 2020 | 2 min read
The technology, tested out on patients with epilepsy who already had electrodes implanted in their brains, is currently limited to 30–50 sentences.
The Scientist Speaks Podcast - Episode 1
The Scientist’s Creative Services Team | 1 min read
Birds on the Brain: The Neuroscience Behind Songbird Communication and Human Speech
image of two small electronic patches embedded in a brain
Speech Decoded from Brain Activity in Area for Hand Control
Shawna Williams | Dec 10, 2019 | 3 min read
The surprising finding comes courtesy of two study participants with implanted electrode arrays that record activity at single-neuron resolution.
The Brain Interprets Spoken and Written Language the Same Way
Catherine Offord | Nov 1, 2019 | 2 min read
Neural activity associated with the meaning of words is independent of whether those words are read or listened to, a study finds.
an illustration of a person's head rendered in 1s and 0s
AI Decodes Speech and Hearing Based on Brain Activity
Shawna Williams | Jul 30, 2019 | 2 min read
The proof-of-concept study could be a step toward better assisted communication devices for paralyzed people.
neurological brain speech
Computers Extract Disease Clues from Speech
Jef Akst | May 1, 2019 | 4 min read
AI models can pick up subtle alterations in linguistic and vocal attributes of spoken language that may be indicative of failing health.
brain decoder electrode array epilepsy locked-in syndrome
Computer Program Converts Brain Signals to a Synthetic Voice
David Adam | Apr 24, 2019 | 2 min read
A proof-of-principle study raises hopes that technology can give a voice to paralyzed people unable to speak.
Softer Diets Allowed Early Humans to Pronounce “F,” “V” Sounds
Katarina Zimmer | Mar 14, 2019 | 4 min read
Drastic dietary changes during the agricultural revolution altered the configuration of the human bite, paving the way for new sounds in spoken language, a new study finds.
After a Lobectomy, a Boy Still Recognizes Words and Faces
Ashley Yeager | Nov 1, 2018 | 5 min read
A longitudinal study tracking the progress of an epilepsy patient after surgery shows the brain’s ability to reorganize itself to function nearly normally.
Dialogue Improves Children’s Learning Abilities
Sukanya Charuchandra | Nov 1, 2018 | 3 min read
Regardless of parental income and education, children who engage in more two-way conversation with their parents learn better.

silhouettes of people atop an image of a laboratory gel
Language Gene Dethroned
Shawna Williams | Aug 3, 2018 | 2 min read
Contrary to earlier results, FOXP2 did not undergo a “selective sweep” as humans developed language, a study finds.
Why Human Speech Is Special
Philip Lieberman | Jul 1, 2018 | 10+ min read
Evolutionary changes in both the vocal tract and the brain were necessary for humans’ remarkable gift of gab.
Primer: Acoustics and Physiology of Human Speech
Philip Lieberman | Jun 30, 2018 | 2 min read
People have a unique anatomy that supports our ability to produce complex language.
Neurons That Recognize Tone Identified
Shawna Williams | Aug 28, 2017 | 1 min read
The cells are crucial to detecting emphasis, sarcasm, and uptalk in human conversation.
Why Can’t Macaques Talk Like Humans?
Ben Andrew Henry | Dec 12, 2016 | 1 min read
Anatomical analysis suggests monkeys possess all the hardware for human-like speech, they just lack the neurological capacity to use it.
Orangutan Imitates Human Speech
Tanya Lewis | Jul 27, 2016 | 1 min read
Captive ape produces more than 500 vowel-like sounds, offering clues to how speech evolved in humans.
How Dogs Interpret Speech
Jef Akst | Dec 2, 2014 | 1 min read
Dogs tend to turn to the left when they hear emotional speech-like sounds, and right when they hear verbal commands from a robot.
The Flap about FoxP2
Jack Lucentini | Oct 23, 2005 | 5 min read
Recent results are as puzzling as they are beguiling, dredging up debates about the nature of language and the ability of a single gene to affect it so greatly.
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