Word Up, Brain
Learn about the motor cortex and its functions on this Moment of Science.
We are going to perform a little experiment.Ready?Go ahead and tap your foot. What just happened? Well, you were able to move your foot thanks to the motor cortex(大脑皮层运动区)–a strip of tissue（组织） running from ear to ear across the surface of the brain that is responsible for controlling voluntary movement（随意性运动）. The instant you decided to move your foot, the part of your brain’s motor cortex responsible for sending commands to the foot went into action.
Now, if you’re somewhere where you have access to a paper and pen or pencil, write down the word “kick”, and then read it to yourself. Guess what? Your brain just（1） lit up（（使）兴奋起来） as though you were actually about to make a kicking motion.
According to a recent study, it turns out that merely reading words that describe actions, like “kick,” “jump,” or “run” makes your motor cortex（2） kick up（踢起） its feet, so to speak. When you read action verbs, blood rushes to the corresponding part of your motor cortex and neurons（神经元） start firing as though you were actually doing that action.
Ok, so the motor cortex is really cool. But so what?
Well, besides the motor cortex, according to the study, other parts of the brain involved with learning new actions and understanding language also get revved up（跃跃欲试的） when we read action verbs. This means that understanding language seems to involve different areas of the brain （3）pitching in（协力，做贡献） to help us learn words together with the actions they describe. With more research, scientists may be able to use this knowledge to help treat language disorders and related problems,and that would be truly cool.
The room suddenly lit up.
He struck a match and lit up.
Her face lit up when she heard the news.
Drivers who forget to light up at night often cause accidents.
She kicked the sand up.
The boys were kicking up a terrific row.
Benson signaled the auctioneer quietly and kicked the bid up another thousand dollars.
He felt his stomach started to kick up.
After the Christmas dinner, we all pitched in to clean up the house.
They all pitched in and finished the work within two hours.
We all pitched in to buy Uncle George a birthday present.