death of the mind.

dan michaels feedbackdroids at
Sun Jul 11 00:48:35 EST 2004

"John Hasenkam" <johnh at faraway.> wrote in message news:<40f01060 at>...

> Then why do bilinguals use differing regions for the second language?
> Why is that brain function during language manipulation varies across the
> menstrual cycle? And perhaps even daily via circadian modulation. Some
> tantalising data I found on this recently - around sunset a man would
> involuntarily switch to his second language, and studies by Paradis
> highlighting variability in bilingual language capacity at varying times.
> Why is that language manipulation is distributed: Wernicke, Broca, dlpfcs,
> cingulate, angular gyrus, temporals and ... ?
> Why is that even adults with brain damage to the parietals can sometimes
> recover language function to levels where the deficits can only be detected
> through rigourous testing; if at all? There are even well documented cases
> of people lacking a left hemisphere who can manage language quite well thank
> you.

Whether or not there is any dedicated circuitry within the human brain
for anything at all, it seems that anatomy has discovered entirely new
nerve tracks innervating the mouth and throat muscles/etc in the human
that don't exist in monkeys or chimps. Deacon discusses these in The
Symbolic Species - as you no doubt know.

It seems entirely clear that the throat and mouth shape could have
evolved greatly beyond monks+chimps - along with the improved
innervation it takes to be able to control the tonque to make the
various vowel sounds, rather than just simple chimp screaming sounds -
while at the same time, nothing much evolved/changed in the brain
proper in order to complement those evolutiuonary changes.

This concept has some strange and wonderful symmetry. Maybe it's some
sort of general rule. As in, all of the outer [ie, peripheral] areas
evolve and greatly "specialize" during evolution, but the inner areas
do not follow suit. They generalize. Hmmm ... outer specialization
supported by inner generalization. It could happen.

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