Humans owe it to language for their many accomplishments throughout history. Our ability to communicate thoughts and ideas enabled us to build entire cultures, establish laws, and develop new ways of making life increasingly better. 

However, there is more to language than meets the eye. Aside from serving as a vehicle of communication, it also helps us determine who we are and how we want others to perceive us. More importantly, our use of language reveals our inner thoughts and personalities in ways we are never fully aware of. 

How do we begin to describe the relationship between the brain and our ability to communicate? How does this relationship help us form (or change) the way we behave? For that, we have to look into the brain's role in developing our linguistic skills.

The Brain is the Starting Point of Language

Childhood development goes hand in hand with brain development. During their first few years, children rely on their environment to shape their personalities and, more importantly, acquire new skills. 

Much of brain development occurs during early childhood. By the age of five, children will have developed 90% of their brain capacity, which is more than enough to enable independent thought and critical thinking during the later stages of childhood. 

What's fascinating, however, is that children can already grasp language systems as early as 12 months after being born. According to this article from, newborn babies already can pay attention to and mimic the sounds they hear from adults. 

By their first birthday, a baby can understand simple instructions and respond when spoken to. This comes as new neural networks form and allow for a greater capacity for language retention. 

Upon entering elementary school, children will have developed a certain level of mastery over linguistic rules. It is also at this stage when language plays a role in shaping personalities and perceptions of the world. 

Where Psychology and Language Meet

Childhood development is when children understand and acquire the language of their community. In later life, children begin to see nuances in their use of language and how others in the same community use it themselves. 

The realm of psycholinguistics (or the study of the psychological area of language) determines how language is acquired and developed over time. Knowing how it impacts our view of other cultures is a different matter. 

Writing for Psychology Today, Neel Burton M.D. points out how different languages influence the thinking of the people that use them. The brain has taught us how to grasp the concept of language during our earlier years. As we continue to develop, we see how language shapes how we view our surroundings and enhances our cognitive abilities. 

In addition, further brain development happens through extensive language use and exposure to new languages. Students at the American International College in Kuwait, for instance, can prepare for an American academic environment through an English-based program that focuses on academic language skills.

Learning a new language stimulates the brain, increasing its capacity to learn and retain new information. With this in mind, we can also say that language itself can help increase cognition and, in the long run, allow us to understand different cultures. 

From this, we can say that the relationship between language and the brain is a lifelong process of influencing each other. It is through this permanent synergy that has helped humans thrive - from birth to later life.