how the brain processes language?

William Calvin wcalvin at u.washington.edu
Mon Jun 13 20:08:50 EST 1994


marten at xs4all.hacktic.nl (marten) writes:
>interpretation directly follow out of the stimulus. What interests me 
>most in this case is language. Do we more easily process -and 
>understand/interpreter- spoken or written text. Is there a (maybe very) 
>different way in how eventually a text got understood depending on how 
>it's offered to us.

Spoken language is more easily comprehended by most people; reading is 
tacked on later, in both ontogeny and phylogeny.  Indeed, since no one 
read before about 5,000 years ago (when writing was invented), the 
existance of reading areas in the brain is a nice demonstration of how 
the brain during development can organized "new" areas around some 
feature of the environment.
	There's a lot more on brain organization for language in our new 
book, CONVERSATIONS WITH NEIL'S BRAIN:  The Neural Nature of Thought and 
Language (Addison-Wesley, 1994).  You can browse it via gopher at
			gopher.well.com
in the Science heading.  My Dutch publisher, Bert Bakker, may eventually 
get around to translating it; De Cerebrale Symfonie doesn't have enough 
on language in it to answer your question.

    William H. Calvin   WCalvin at U.Washington.edu
    University of Washington  NJ-15
    Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
    Seattle WA 98195 USA     fax +1(206)720-1989




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