Re: A B&N Field Report (was Entry Level Drug)



On Fri, 17 Sep 2010 09:27:31 +1000, Christopher Adams wrote:

Dorothy J Heydt wrote:

Though it's providing an interesting insight, isn't it? Apparently for
some humans at least, learning to speak is *hard*work*.

Apropos of this subject:

http://www.radiolab.org/2010/aug/09/

This is an NPR podcast on the subject of language - specifically, how
learning to talk (for the first time, or again after a stroke, et
cetera) enables us to think. There is some persuasive evidence that
having a language capable of expressing more and more concepts enables
us to think in a more sophisticated way.

Among the interesting tidbits: children below the age of about 5 or 6
years are no more able to conceive of the concept "left of the blue
wall" than is a rat.

A few weeks ago, I caught part of a news item on NPR about a new
experiment, teaching young children a basic vocabulary of American Sign
Language before they learn to speak. Apparently, the brain centers that
handle symbolic communication mature faster than does the fine muscle
control needed for actual speech. I didn't quite catch the ages
involved, except that the toddlers in question were communicating via ASL
several months before they actually began forming understandable words
via speech. Apparently, this results in both the child and the parents
having less frustration at being unable to communicate with each other.

--
John F. Eldredge -- john@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
"Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly
is better than not to think at all." -- Hypatia of Alexandria
.