Patricia Kuhl: the linguistic genius of babies


Today I watched an absolutely mindblowing video on, a site of small, non-profit group TED, who are devoted to “ideas worth spreading”. There is a goldmine of interesting stuff in their archives, but being somebody with a keen interest in languages this video seemed truly worthy of sharing.

The talk is given by Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the Institute for Brain and Learning Sciences at the University of Washington and expert on early language and brain development. We all know that babies and young children are better at picking up new languages than adults, but perhaps we forget just how much better. Her studies have shown that during early language learning, they can do things adults simply can’t, and to surprising degrees.

You can view the video below, or go to the page on