- Series: Studies in the Evolution of Language (Book 16)
- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (April 11, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199896682
- ISBN-13: 978-0199896684
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.1 x 6.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,558,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How the Brain Got Language: The Mirror System Hypothesis (Studies in the Evolution of Language) 1st Edition
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"...I recommend Arbib's book to serious students of language evolution.... How the Brain Got Language should be a valuable resource for scholars of language evolution." --PsycCRITIQUES
"Arbib's book copiously illustrates the interdisciplinarity of research on language evolution, drawing on data from neuroscience, etholohy, linguistics, human palaeontology and prehistoric archaeology." - Kerstin Hoge, Times Literary Supplement
"Arbib's book is well written and engaging. Even if one does not agree with Arbib on how the human brain got language, the book may interest the intended audience [of] educated lay readers, as well as researchers in linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, neurolinguistics, natural language processing, primatology, and anthropology." -Fredrik Heinat, Nordic Journal of Linguistics
"Together with introducing is own theory of language evolution, Arbib also rightfully evaluates some contemporary views on language origin. These views differ from Arbib's theory in terms of their different foci on linguistic components, distinct modularity and forms about the proto language, and various scenarios of language origin." -Lan Shuai & Tao Gong, SciVerse ScienceDirect
About the Author
Michael Arbib was a pioneer in the interdisciplinary study of computers and brains, and has long studied brain mechanisms underlying the visual control of action. For more than a decade he has devoted much energy to understanding the relevance of this work, and especially of mirror neurons, to the evolution of the language-ready brain.
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His hypothesis is that mirror neuron system provides the seed for communicative "duality" - the sender makes assumption that receiver will decode to the same semantic content / the receiver assumes that his/her decode is what was intended by the sender. He creates a path from macaque monkey MNS studies through great apes (chimps, gorillas) vocal, facial and hand gestures, onto human communication - analyzing imitation and pantomime and seeing gesture as linchpin for the development of human language: in this regard, he employs data from sign language studies.
Probably impossible to gather in all relevant references but one example of glaring omission is 2006 UCLA study
First Evidence Found of Mirror Neuron’s Role in Language
Sep 21, 2006
a summary of which can be found with search on phys.org. I couldn't recall any mention of this and my search via his names index and subject index did not hit. A mysterious omssion.