The Power of Language
How the Codes We Use to Think, Speak, and Live Transform Our Minds
"Sparkles with insight."--Daniel Pink
One of Behavioral Scientist's Summer Books of 2023
One of Next Big Idea Club's "7 Books that Reveal the Wonders of Writing and Language"
This revolutionary book goes beyond any recent book on language to dissect how language operates in our minds and how to harness its virtually limitless power.
As Dr. Marian explains, while you may well think you speak only one language, in fact your mind accommodates multiple codes of communication. Some people speak Spanish, some Mandarin. Some speak poetry, some are fluent in math. The human brain is built to use multiple languages, and using more languages opens doors to creativity, brain health, and cognitive control.
Every new language we speak shapes how we extract and interpret information. It alters what we remember, how we perceive ourselves and the world around us, how we feel, the insights we have, the decisions we make, and the actions we take. Language is an invaluable tool for organizing, processing, and structuring information, and thereby unleashing radical advancement.
Learning a new language has broad lifetime consequences, and Dr. Marian reviews research showing that it:
· Enhances executive function--our ability to focus on the things that matter and ignore the things that don't.
· Results in higher scores on creative-thinking tasks.
· Develops critical reasoning skills.
· Delays Alzheimer's and other types of dementia by four to six years.
· Improves decisions made under emotional duress.
· Changes what we see, pay attention to, and recall.
About this Author
Dr. Viorica Marian is the Ralph and Jean Sundin Endowed Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders and professor of psychology at Northwestern University. Since 2000, Marian has directed the university's Bilingualism and Psycholinguistics Research Lab, receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. She previously served as chair of the National Institutes of Health Language and Communication Study Section (2020-2022) and chair of the Northwestern University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (2011-2014).
Marian is a native speaker of Romanian; a native-like speaker of Russian; a fluent speaker of English; and has studied or conducted research with a variety of other languages, including American Sign Language, Cantonese, Dutch, French, German, Mandarin, Spanish, Thai, and Ukrainian.
Apart from scientific papers, Marian has written for Scientific American, Psychology Today, The Hill, Medium, Latino USA, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Chicago Tribune. Her work has been featured on NPR, PBS, BBC, NBC, and CBS, as well as many podcasts.
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