Monday, September 29, 2008
Brain processing of action language influenced by sports experience.
There is abundant evidence that if we train and enhance our skill at a particular kind of action (piano playing, serving a tennis ball, etc.) areas of the premotor and motor cortex involved in the skill increase their relative area. Beilock et al. now provide evidence, in an open access article, that specialized (sports) motor experience enhances action-related language understanding by recruitment of left dorsal lateral premotor cortex, a region normally devoted to higher-level action selection and implementation—even when there is no intention to perform a real action. Thus, the language system is sufficiently plastic and dynamic to encompass expertise-related neural recruitment outside core language networks.