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A gift speaks a thousand words!

india Updated: Jun 07, 2012 16:57 IST
lovers and mourners

As lovers and mourners know, a bunch of flowers speaks volumes. But, ever wondered why a gift conveys a thousand word? Well, a new study has finally come up with an explanation.

A team at University of Southern Denmark has carried out the study and concluded that it could be due to the reason that the human brain makes sense of gestures in the same way which it processes language.

In their study, researchers, led by Kristian Tylen, wanted to know which part of the brain was used to understand the meaning behind items placed in a symbolic manner.

They used FMRI to scan the brains of volunteers as they viewed pictures of everyday objects arranged to actually communicate meaning, such as flowers on a doorstep followed by the same objects in less meaningful settings, such as flowers growing in the wild.

The researchers found that the symbolic arrangements prompted more activity in the regions associated with verbal communication, such as left fusiform gyrus, used in reading, and the inferior frontal cortex, linked to semantic meaning.

Less conventional arrangements, like an art installation, also affected a "verbal" area -- producing a pattern of brain activity previously associated with unusual verbal metaphors, the 'New Scientist' reported.

Previous research has shown that the brain processes body language and facial expressions in a way which is similar to verbal communication. "It shows that language is more than just the processing of words it actually pervades many of our activities," Tylen said.