Thursday, 28 April 2016

semantics, semiotics

Via Gizmodo comes a fascinating and rather unexpected insight into the way the brain processes and retains language, having created an intellectual atlas that plots how individual concepts, words exist in isolation and as a constellation by closely monitoring the crania of a test audience listening to an engaging story-hour.
The imaging reveals that words dwell in specific parts all over the brain—not confined to the left-hemisphere which is generally associated with communication—even betraying nuance and the different degrees of meaning and intent that words can convey. Following along with the transcript of the radio broadcast, researchers were able to pin-point the audience’s reactions to each line of exposition and learned that the homogenous listeners (all native English-speakers and presumably all sane) all have pretty much the same internal rainbows of syntax. I image those slight differences are even more intriguing. Neurologists believe that such maps, whose narrative was a challenge to capture beforehand, may facilitate the interface between mind and machine in the future and better understand cognitive maladies.