Dr. Eddie Chang: The Science of Learning & Speaking Languages


Huberman Lab

My guest is Eddie Chang, MD, a neurosurgeon and professor of neurological surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the co-director of the Center for Neural Engineering & Prostheses. We discuss the brain mechanisms underlying speech, language learning and comprehension, communicating human emotion with words and hand gestures, bilingualism and language disorders, such as stuttering. Dr. Chang also explains his work developing and applying state-of-the-art technology to decode speech and using that information and artificial intelligence (AI) to successfully restore communication to patients who have suffered paralyzing injuries or “locked in syndrome.” We also discuss his work treating patients with epilepsy. Finally, we consider the future: how modern neuroscience is overturning textbook medical books, the impact of digital technology such as smartphones on language and the future of natural and computer-assisted human communication.

For the full show notes, visit hubermanlab.com.

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(00:00:00) Dr. Eddie Chang, Speech & Language

(00:03:16) Sponsor: LMNT

(00:07:19) Neuroplasticity, Learning of Speech & Environmental Sounds

(00:13:10) White Noise Machines, Infant Sleep & Sensitization

(00:17:26) Mapping Speech & Language in the Brain

(00:24:26) Emotion; Anxiety & Epilepsy

(00:30:19) Epilepsy, Medications & Neurosurgery

(00:33:01) Ketogenic Diet & Epilepsy

(00:34:04) Sponsor: AG1

(00:36:10) Absence Seizures, Nocturnal Seizures & Other Seizure Types

(00:41:08) Brain Areas for Speech & Language, Broca’s & Wernicke’s Areas, New Findings

(00:53:23) Lateralization of Speech/Language & Handedness, Strokes

(00:59:05) Bilingualism, Shared Language Circuits

(01:01:18) Speech vs. Language, Signal Transduction from Ear to Brain

(01:12:38) Shaping Breath: Larynx, Vocal Folds & Pharynx; Vocalizations

(01:17:37) Mapping Language in the Brain

(01:20:26) Plosives & Consonant Clusters; Learning Multiple Languages

(01:25:07) Motor Patterns of Speech & Language

(01:28:33) Reading & Writing; Dyslexia & Treatments

(01:34:47) Evolution of Language

(01:37:54) Stroke & Foreign Accent Syndrome

(01:40:31) Auditory Memory, Long-Term Motor Memory

(01:45:26) Paralysis, ALS, “Locked-In Syndrome” & Brain Computer Interface (BCI)

(02:02:14) Neuralink, BCI, Superhuman Skills & Augmentation

(02:10:21) Non-Verbal Communication, Facial Expressions, BCI & Avatars

(02:17:35) Stutter, Anxiety & Treatment

(02:22:55) Tools: Practices for Maintaining Calm Under Extreme Demands

(02:31:10) Zero-Cost Support, YouTube Feedback, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Momentous Supplements, Huberman Lab Premium, Neural Network Newsletter, Social Media

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac


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