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  • October 12, 2008
  • 01:00 AM

Pirating Nationhood: History, Ideology and Practice

by moneduloides in Moneduloides

Federalism and superstition speak low Breton; emigration and hatred of the Republic speak German; the counterrevolution speaks Italian, and fanaticism speaks Basque.

- Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac

Language ideology plays an important, yet often ignored, role in the creation and maintenance of community. In the context of the nation-state and its formation, in particular, the way in [...]... Read more »

  • October 6, 2008
  • 06:25 PM

Speech recognition and the left hemisphere

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

In contrast to the traditional view that all aspects of speech processing are strongly left dominant, we have argued in several papers that the recognition of speech sounds is supported by auditory regions in both hemispheres (Hickok & Poeppel, 2000, 2004, 2007). The evidence for this view comes from neuropsychological studies:1. Chronic damage to the left superior temporal gyrus alone is not associated with auditory comprehension deficits or speech perception deficits, but instead is associated........ Read more »

  • October 2, 2008
  • 06:57 PM

More evidence for a sensory-motor interface in the posterior planum temporale region (area Spt)

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

We have argued previously that the posterior-medial planum temporale is not part of auditory cortex, but instead is multisensory and subserves sensory-motor integration, much like sensory-motor integration areas in the parietal lobe (Pa & Hickok, 2008). (See also a previous post on the topic.) A new paper by Novraj Dhanjal, Richard Wise, and colleagues in J. Neurosci. provides additional evidence for this view. In an fMRI experiment, they had subjects produce speech (either count or produce pr........ Read more »

  • September 30, 2008
  • 02:40 PM

Brodmann areas and localization in functional neuroimaging: a useful concept?

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

Korbinian Brodmann (1868-1918) was a German neurologist who became famous for his work on the cytoarchitectonic organization of the cerebral cortex. Brodmann's parcellation of the human cortex into about 44 areas (there were some missing numbers) is far from uncontroversial. For example, the Economo and Koskinas atlas published in 1925 distinguishes 107 different areas, and the Vogts thought there were more than 200. Bailey and von Bonin (1951) criticized the proliferation subdivisions, cal........ Read more »

E. G. Jones. (2008) Cortical maps and modern phrenology. Brain, 131(8), 2227-2233. DOI: 10.1093/brain/awn158  

A. Schleicher, N. Palomero-Gallagher, P. Morosan, S. B. Eickhoff, T. Kowalski, K. de Vos, K. Amunts, & K. Zilles. (2005) Quantitative architectural analysis: a new approach to cortical mapping. Anatomy and Embryology, 210(5-6), 373-386. DOI: 10.1007/s00429-005-0028-2  

  • September 29, 2008
  • 12:25 PM

Early sources on African ideophones, part III: ‘Onomatopoeia as a formative principle in the Negro languages’, 1886

by Mark D. in The Ideophone

A steady influx of vocabularies of exotic languages during the nineteenth century caused a veritable flowering of comparative philology. It became en vogue to be looking at primitive languages, and the late nineteenth century especially was a time in which every respectable gent in academia had to have dabbled in African philology.

One such gent was [...]... Read more »

Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu. (1998) Ideophones in Dangme and their place in linguistic semantics. Papers in Ghanaian Linguistics.

H. T Peck. (1886) Onomatopoeia in Some West African Languages. The American Journal of Philology, 7(4).

  • September 25, 2008
  • 03:08 PM

Broca's area, sentence comprehension, and working memory

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

Broca's area shows a "sentence complexity" effect. It responds more during the comprehension of object relative (OR) constructions than easier to process subject relative (SR) constructions:OR: The man that the boy pushes is wearing a red shirtSR: The man that pushes the boy is wearing a red shirtWhat is driving the complexity effect? Presumably it is some form of working memory. In the case of OR sentences, you have to hold two items in memory -- the man, the boy -- before you get to the ver........ Read more »

  • September 16, 2008
  • 09:05 PM

Pulvermuller = Wernicke-Lichtheim

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

The traditional view has been that language primarily involves two core areas in the left inferior frontal and superior temporal cortex. these were considered modules for language production and comprehension, respectively (Lichtheim,1885; Geschwind, 1970). With the advent of neuroimaging, however, the evidence became overwhelming that, apart from classic core language areas, multiple supplementary areas are also active during language processing, suggesting widely distributed corteial system as........ Read more »

  • September 11, 2008
  • 06:00 PM

Lipstick on a pig: a neural perspective

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

Abstract. Purpose: To investigate the effects of political party affiliation on the interpretation of metaphoric expressions. Approach: Millions of subjects were exposed to a single metaphor, "You can put lipstick on a pig -- It's still a pig" and were asked to indicate the intended referent of the word, "pig." Data collection and analysis: Response data were collected via tedious monitoring of television news channels, particularly CNN, where interpretations of "pig" were offered (repeatedly) b........ Read more »

Ingo G. Meister, Dorothee Buelte, Roland Sparing, & Babak Boroojerdi. (2007) A repetition suppression effect lasting several days within the semantic network. Experimental Brain Research, 183(3), 371-376. DOI: 10.1007/s00221-007-1051-8  

A RAPP, Leube DT, Erb M, Grodd W, & Kircher TT. (2004) Neural correlates of metaphor processing. Cognitive Brain Research, 20(3), 395-402. DOI: 10.1016/j.cogbrainres.2004.03.017  

  • September 11, 2008
  • 05:28 PM

Do right motor cortex lesions cause verb processing impairments?

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

I'm still looking for compelling evidence that damage to the motor system affects verb processing. TMS data was not convincing, nor was ALS data (see previous posts). Now I'm looking at a lesion study by Neininger & Pulvermuller (2003, Word-category specific deficits after lesions in the right hemisphere. Neuropsychologia, 41:53-70), and I have to admit this is a reasonably impressive result -- but not exactly air tight. Twelve patients with right frontal lobe damage and left hemiparesis were........ Read more »

  • September 9, 2008
  • 01:45 PM

TMS to motor cortex affects lexical decision to body-part related words - What does this tell us?

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

One of the most impressive demonstrations of the functional relevance of motor cortex to action-word processing comes from a TMS study by Friedemann Pulvermuller and colleagues (2005, European Journal of Neuroscience, 21:793-97). These researchers stimulated motor cortex for hand or leg areas while subjects performed a lexical decision task. TMS to hand areas led to faster reaction times to hand-related words (e.g., pick) than leg-related words (e.g., kick), whereas the reverse held for TMS to ........ Read more »

Friedemann Pulvermuller, Olaf Hauk, Vadim V. Nikulin, & Risto J. Ilmoniemi. (2005) Functional links between motor and language systems. European Journal of Neuroscience, 21(3), 793-797. DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2005.03900.x  

  • September 8, 2008
  • 06:57 PM

Verb processing deficits in motor neuron disease (ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease)

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

Embodied cognition views of language processing hold that motor systems are central in processing linguistic forms that involve action-based information.  This view predicts that damage to the motor system should produce deficits in processing verbs.  There is plenty of evidence that patients with left frontal lobe damage can have deficits in naming actions.  But this result does not mean that action knowledge has been disrupted (a typical interpretation of embodied cognition theorists).  It........ Read more »

  • August 21, 2008
  • 01:44 PM

Mirror neurons, hubs, and puppet masters

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

Hubs are IN in cognitive neuroscience. Griffiths and Warren have their computational hub in the planum temporale, and Patterson et al. have their semantic hub in the anterior temporal lobe. Long before the hub we had the convergence zone of Antonio Damasio and the transmodal node of Marcel Mesulam which he described as an "epicenter" (I like that term -- sounds very important). Despite the variation in terminology, the basic idea behind all these proposals is similar: there are regions in ........ Read more »

Antonio Damasio, & Kaspar Meyer. (2008) Behind the looking-glass. Nature, 454(7201), 167-168. DOI: 10.1038/454167a  

  • May 27, 2008
  • 06:00 AM

Adjectives and the gospel in Ewe

by Mark D. in The Ideophone

Previously, we’ve looked at a perceptive account of ideophones in nineteenth-century Ewe by Joh. Bernard Schlegel. But Schlegel was not just a keen observator of the synchronic structure of Ewe, he also had clear ideas on where the language came from (damned primitivity) and where it was going (blessed enlightenment). A Pietist missionary above all [...]... Read more »

Philip A Noss. (1999) The Ideophone: A Dilemma for Translation and Translation Theory. New Dimensions in African Linguistics and Languages.

  • January 17, 2008
  • 01:00 AM

Remnants of some ancient tribal idiom: deciphering the oldest Siwu to appear in print

by Mark D. in The Ideophone

Remnants of some ancient tribal idiom: deciphering the oldest Siwu to appear in print... Read more »

Rudolf Plehn. (1898) Beiträge zur Völkerkunde des Togo-Gebietes. Mittheilungen des Seminars für Orientalische Sprachen, 2(part III).

  • November 30, -1
  • 12:00 AM

Sticks And Stones (Coda) – How Names Work Against Women

by Michael Ramscar in The Importance of Being Wrong

Mothers tell your daughters

From 2011 to December 2015, five women fought the Japanese Government all the way to the country’s Supreme Court. They were seeking to change a law that compels couples to adopt the same surname in order to legally register their marriage. Although the law does not specify whose name it should be, in practice, 96% of couples take the husband’s name, and the women argued that this made the law unconstitutional, since it violated their basic civil rights........ Read more »

Colman, A., Sluckin, W., & Hargreaves, D. (1981) The effect of familiarity on preferences for surnames. British Journal of Psychology, 72(3), 363-369. DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1981.tb02195.x  

A. Crook. (2012) Personal Names in 18th-Century Scotland: a case study of the parish of Beith (North Ayrshire). Journal of Scottish Name Studies, 1-10. info:/

Shannon, C. (1948) A Mathematical Theory of Communication. Bell System Technical Journal, 27(3), 379-423. DOI: 10.1002/j.1538-7305.1948.tb01338.x  

Shannon, C. (1951) Prediction and Entropy of Printed English. Bell System Technical Journal, 30(1), 50-64. DOI: 10.1002/j.1538-7305.1951.tb01366.x  

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