The Brain's Word Act: Reading verbs revs up motor cortex areas | Science News

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The Brain's Word Act: Reading verbs revs up motor cortex areas

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10:53am, February 4, 2004

For more than 60 years, scientists have known that a strip of neural tissue that runs ear-to-ear along the brain's surface orchestrates most voluntary movement, from raising a fork to kicking a ball. A new brain-imaging study has revealed that parts of this so-called motor cortex also respond vigorously as people do nothing more than silently read words.

Not just any words get those neurons going, however. They have to be action words—active verbs.

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