Thursday, 26 April 2018

The truth about Tony Abbott's tongue - it's not reptilian, he's saving on brain power

Keen viewers of The Project  would have noticed this view of Tony Abbott in France:

But why is it so? Why does the former PM so often get captured in photos with his tongue out? Photos like these:

For an answer the Owl has turned to Science Focus - the Online Home of BBC Focus Magazine.

Why do I stick out my tongue when I concentrate?

The answer won't surprise you when you find out how much brain power that muscle uses

Much of your brain is devoted to your tongue. It is a huge muscle, constantly moving, that has to keep out of the way of your teeth, help you swallow and avoid choking you. It’s covered with densely packed touch receptors that constantly update the mental map of the shape of your mouth. And your tongue is connected to the brain’s language centres so it often moves to partly form word shapes as you think. All this sends a huge stream of data to your brain. Sticking your tongue out or biting it, reduces its movement and cuts down on this torrent, which leaves more brain-power available to concentrate.

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