30 grunts and sounds that may have been the first language

Linguists discover 30 sounds that may have allowed communication before words existed.

Credit: Alexander Krivitskiy / mana5280/ Unsplash /Big Think
  • What did the first person who wanted to speak say?
  • New research suggests that there are lots of sounds that everyone understands.
  • These sounds may have allowed the first exchanges that gave birth to language.
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Whales warned each other about hunters in the 19th century

Digitized logbooks from the 1800s reveal a steep decline in strike rate for whalers.

Credit: Morphart/Adobe Stock
  • Newly digitized whalers' logbooks allow researchers to analyze trends in 19th-century whaling.
  • The records show that whales soon learned to anticipate and evade predation from humans.
  • The behavioral changes suggest social learning at work since the change in their behavior occurred too quickly to be evolutionary.
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    Is computer code a language or math? MIT study uses brain scans for answers

    How our brains interpret computer code could impact how we teach it.

    Credit: cottonbro from Pexels
    • Computer coding is a relatively new skill, so our brains can't have specialized areas for it from birth.
    • The question of how we process computer code, as a language or as math, could impact how we teach the subject.
    • A new MIT study suggests our brains treat it as its own special topic.
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