Re: Early Hominids Language

29 Apr 1995 01:42:46 GMT

Van Sellars ( wrote:
: I found Discover magazine at
: The current issue has an article on the possibility that the
: first language may have been a sign language.
: van

I saw that and laughed. Primates vocalize quite well, thank you. Gorillas
do well enough to be able to discuss where to do lunch. More seriously,
the brain mechanisms we use to decode language (written, sign, and spoken)
are also the motor cortex regions used to produce speech. Why it works
that way seems to involve the interaction of the spoken signals with those
cortices to communicate the emotional states we call 'meaning.' Production
and detection appear to be dual processes.

Harry Erwin
PhD student in comp neurosci: "Glitches happen" & "Meaning is emotional"