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Taming the Anxious Mind: Revisited

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Review of Steven Pinker's "The Language Instinct"

Why Oldspeak will Never be Forgotten and More

 

            The most basic insight of Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct is that whenever a group of two or more people get together anywhere in the world, they will most likely be communicating through language. Steven Pinker is a linguistics professor at Harvard University and known worldwide for his work with language. ‘The Language Instinct” offers Steven Pinker’s thesis and research on how language and communication is an instinct native to all humans. The most interesting central topics discussed in this book are how language is an instinct and how children develop language and grammar skills, the idea of a “Universal Grammar” and what it says about language and the mind, and how language and thought are not the same. Pinker’s book on how language is learned, how it works, changes and is ultimately a basic human instinct, is funny and interesting the whole way through.

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Mind Reading

            Doctors are now using new developments in brain scanning and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI’s) to communicate with patients in a vegetative state. This new technology is giving doctors the ability to “read” brain damaged patient’s minds. Therefore they can determine if patients are in a conscious and recoverable state or not and allows them to treat their patients more effectively. New fMRI technologies represents a breakthrough for medicine as well as a possible new insight into the role of the mind and the brain, however there are ethical drawbacks.

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The I-pod Brain: Musical Hallucinations

Imagine a world in which you had a song playing non-stop in your head and there was no way to stop it. Your brain was constantly in listening mode and the music in your head was always on full volume. This is what it would be like to suffer from music hallucinations. It is normal to hear an occasional song in your head, but generally it eventually goes away because the brain is bombarded with numerous other signals and stimuli that we are able to focus on instead. Music hallucinations occur when a set of neurons in the brain begin to misfire and patients feel as though they are always hearing music, even though in reality there is nothing playing. There is no other symptom of music hallucination and studies have shown that music hallucination tends to be the only psychosis problem in patients, the main concern being that these hallucinations are very annoying.

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"Colorless Green Ideas"- The Phenomenon of Language

Colorless Green Ideas- The Phenomenon of Language By: Sasha DeWitt 

As humans we use language everyday to live and communicate. We have created words that give sound and meaning to objects and abstract concepts as well as created grammatical structures to give form to the messages we convey. This paper is a look into the way that language, a uniquely human creation, works.

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