The brain sees words, even nonsense ones, as pictures

As you read these words, your brain may be seeing each one as a picture.

Scientists looked at the activity in one region of people’s brains before and after volunteers learned made-up words. The results show that after learning nonsense words, the visual word form area, on the left side of the brain near the back, responds to them just as it does to real words. The results, reported March 25 in the Journal of Neuroscience, confirm an earlier finding that this part of the brain makes pictures out of words. The new finding could help people who have trouble reading, the scientists say.


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