Allison Z's blog

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Television and the Brain

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Language and the human mind

The book Patterns in the Mind by Ray Jackendoff approaches the question of how language works. Language is perhaps the most unique aspect of humanity, as we are the only creatures to have the capacity for this type of communication. The book explores this facility of language, and what goes into the process of learning and becoming fluent in a language. The book questions what is specifically human about the ability to create and use language, and to what extent language is a result of nature versus nurture Jackendoff is very careful to differentiate between language and communication in this book: while many animals communicate, only humans have the complex grammar systems that constitute language.

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Obediency and group mentality

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Psychopaths and Sociopaths

Throughout modern history, there has been an abundance of interest regarding the concept of the psychopath and sociopath. Many portrayals of sociopaths seem to be overly romanticized, and fictional characters such as Hannibal Lector or Dexter Morgan (Silence of the Lambs and Dexter respectively) are sources of fascination for an uneducated public. It is difficult when watching such characterizations to discern what is true and what is fantastical about their portrayal, and that is why I began researching psychopaths and sociopaths. While the information I found was educational, it is clear that there is some confusion as to how exactly one can define these mental disorders, even among the scientific community.

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