Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Synesthesia and cross-modal interaction

Several posts have focused on the importance of engaging all senses and modalities for optimal efficiency in pronunciation work. Research in synesthesia points to the importance of the multiple paths of interconnectedness between brain centers. For our work, that cuts both ways. If all modalities are actively "online" in attending to the sound process targeted, the potential impact on memory and recall multiplies accordingly. Conversely, if some available modalities (such as body awareness, touch, or visual) are otherwise engaged or distracted, the effect goes the other direction. Pronunciation is, in that sense, a uniquely multi-modal problem for the learner. The expression, "Give me your undivided attention." takes on new meaning from that perspective!

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