Tongue twisters are funny to say and can create an entertaining moment when the words get messed up. As it turns out, they may also help with continued successful brain function in older adults.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology presented a report at the 166th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America that tongue twisters can provide information on the brain's speech-planning processes.
Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel, the MIT psychologist who presented the work, noted in a statement that studying speech errors is a way of understanding normal brain functions.
"When things go wrong, that can tell you something about how the typical, error-free operation should go," Shattuck-Hufnagel said in the source.
Some of the most common tongue twisters, according to the source, include"toy boat," "top cop" and "The seething sea ceaseth and thus the seething sea sufficeth us." For the study, participants were recorded saying combinations of words that were either simple lists of words or full sentences. "Pad kid poured cured pulled cod" proved to be so challenging to say, individuals couldn't get through it.
AARP said that knowing normal brains have trouble with tongue twisters helps researchers understand what happens when a brain problem arises, and these challenging lists of words of often used to determine if older adults are suffering from cognitive decline.
Senior care services can provide elderly people with speech therapy to keep their brain's functioning properly for longer, and caregivers can determine if a person is having trouble with speech because of a potential brain issue.