A brief reminder of our two solutions that we put forward:
1. Using a specific music frequency to target specific “bilingual” neurons:
We know that neurons have preferred activation directions and frequencies. Using this, we would have headphones with a specific frequency to help recover L1s by targeting the neurons that respond to this frequency. Then, slowly unassociate the frequency with tasks so brain recovers L1 on its own.
Our Concerns: this involves careful planning of the neuronal frequencies and specifications with each neuron. There are also studies showing that specific neurons, like the “Halle Berry” neuron may not exist, therefore targeting neurons this way may not get us the result we desire. How can we initiate the chain reaction of neurons necessary to reach our target “language” neurons? How do we make music match the frequency and make it enjoyable?
2. Brain type pacemaker: Physically rebooting that area:
How can we regulate brain activity? Using similar ideas from heart pacemakers, how can we incorporate that into regulating brain activity in the area of the brain damaged and causing bilingual aphasia?
Our Concerns: invasive and expensive. How do we make it accessible to the general public and small enough? How do we get it to the spot we want without it being as invasive or detrimental/high-risk as it could be?
Using a specific music frequency to target specific “bilingual” neurons
Yes, and… "maybe you can also look into areas/regions instead of neurons if neurons are too hard to target"
Response: This is helpful feedback because originally we were trying to trace down the neurons that are “broken” and therefore stopping the process from working properly/causing the aphasia. But broadening it to a specific area is helpful because it can help us to trick the brain into working properly; we can reach the brain so that it can do the rest of the process itself and bypass the damage.
Yes, and... "maybe research more about which frequency. We suppose the “best” frequency would vary depending on the language"
Response: This is helpful because we can narrow our research to one language, or we can try to figure out the similarities between the frequencies that might affect different languages. I.e: Are there specific neurons that specialize in certain languages learned before the critical age ends, or after?
Yes, and… "It is a cool idea because it combines what we learned about neurons, and focusing on frequency seems to be a feasible path. Maybe try looking into if there is any relevant research on frequencies and neurons/areas"
Response: Yes! This is what we were hoping to do!
Yes, but… "also try to incorporate L2 as it also plays a big role in bilingual aphasia."
Response: We understand what you are saying, we understand the importance of L2 but are focus is on L1’s. L1s are acquired in the critical period, while L2s are acquired after the critical period which might cause differences in bilingualism. That would also include characteristics of time which is not what we are focusing on. Studies say that L1 develop in a specific part of the brain, and L2 develop within those parts which may cause complexities we don’t have the ability to address.
Yes, but… "is this just a temporary fix?"
Response: No, because what we are hoping to achieve with our solution is that after a period of time the brain will naturally adjust to what we are training it to do. In a way, we are trying to condition the brain.
Yes, but…. "Differences across languages may require different treatments? "
Response: Yes, that is exactly what we are trying to address! We are trying to just use one treatment to treat a range of languages.
Brain type pacemaker: Physically rebooting that area
Yes, and… “If one day we do have this, it would be so amazing. Maybe see if any research has been done in the relevant area, and get more details in this solution to see how practical it is.”
Response: Yes, we intend to do more research. However, our research will be based on heart pacemakers and neurobiology - adapting the idea of a heart pacemaker to neural activity.
Yes, and.. “It is definitely helpful that the pacemaker would be “same-size fits all!” That saves a lot of money!
Response: Yes, thank you! Our idea is to make the pacemaker as accessible as possible to everyone.
Yes, and.. “Research the similarities between heart pacemakers and your intended brain pacemaker. This may help guide your next steps.”
Response: Yes, that is what we intend to do. Thank you for following our thoughts.
Yes, but.. “Invasive for subjects?”
Response: We have tried to address this. This was one of our first concerns. However, if it solves the issue, we believe it is worth the risk. There will always be a con to any method, we just hope our pros outweigh the cons.
Yes, but… “misplacement/defect could be detrimental”
Response: Yes, that is true. But of course our pacemaker would be placed in its appropriate location after proper and thorough research and experimentation (MRI scans, etc.). The pacemaker would be the very last step of our process.
Yes, but… “we are not sure that it would even be possible to reboot a damaged part of the brain. We also think it is very risky to touch the brain.”
Response: Yes, we are aware of the risks. However, we feel like after thorough investigation and understanding of the brain, it may be more possible than we think. And if through our research we find it is too invasive, we can always adjust our idea to a less invasive approach.
Our revised thoughts after receiving feedback from our classmates: We do not feel like there is a clear winner yet. But there is a high possibility that we could combine our two solutions: a pacemaker based on music frequencies. This may be less invasive (a concern that most of our classmates voiced) to the brain. We will present both of our ideas to relevant experts, and see from there.