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Language as a Tool: Motor Proficiency Using a Tool Predicts Individual Linguistic Abilities
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, France; University of Lyon, France; Hospices Civils de Lyon, France.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
Number of Authors: 42019 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 10, article id 1639Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Different disciplines converge to trace language evolution from motor skills. The human ability to use tools has been advocated as a fundamental step toward the emergence of linguistic processes in the brain. Neuropsychological and neuroimaging research has established that linguistic functions and tool-use are mediated by partially overlapping brain networks. Yet, scholars still theoretically debate whether the relationship between tool-use and language is contingent or functionally relevant, since empirical evidence is critically missing. Here, we measured both linguistic production and tool-use abilities in the same participants, as well as manual and linguistic motor skills. A path analysis ruling out unspecific contributions from manual or linguistic motor skills, showed that motor proficiency using a tool lawfully predicts differences in individual linguistic production. In addition, more complex tool-use reveals stronger association between linguistic production and tool mastery. These findings establish the existence of shared cognitive processes between tool-use and language.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 10, article id 1639
Keywords [en]
tool-use, syntax, path model analysis, embodied cognition, language
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-171668DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01639ISI: 000475818200001PubMedID: 31379674OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-171668DiVA, id: diva2:1344592
Available from: 2019-08-21 Created: 2019-08-21 Last updated: 2019-08-21Bibliographically approved

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