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Foreign Accent Syndrome
On very rare occasions, generally after suffering some type of brain injury, people have been known to suddenly begin speaking in foreign accents. This is, is my mind, one of the strangest behavioral phenomenon out there. It seems to suggest that certain brain regions might actually have some sort of inhibitory effect on linguistic ability and that the stroke shuts them down.
A related phenomenon: Rapid language acquisition after coma
In other instances, victims of brain injury have developed fluency in languages they were attempting to learn, but of which they had only a rudimentary understanding.
Descriptions of a few of these occurrences can be found in the articles attached below.
- Croatian teenage wakes up from coma speaking fluent German
- Before his coma he spoke English; after waking up he’s fluent in Spanish
- (In this article, a doctor is quoted saying that Foreign Accent Syndrome is caused by an impairment in motor control. To me, that seems pretty far fetched, given the quality of the accents seen in videos of people with the syndrome)
Article I’m re-reading: Are we all multiple personalities of a universal consciousness?
I first read this article a few months ago, and soon after read three books by the person about whom it is written: Bernardo Kastrup. Kastrup is a computer engineer and philosopher, and believes that the universe is essentially a gigantic cosmic mind. The above article does a good job summarizing some of his ideas, and pointing out flaws with more conventional theories of everything.
“If man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.”