Jerry Feldman
ICSI, UC Berkeley

From Molecule to Metaphor: Towards a Unified Cognitive Science

Tuesday 19th of September 2006 at 12:00pm
3105 Tolman Hall (Beach Room)

The neural revolution in cognitive science, which was always inevitable, is well under way. Rapid advances on the neural correlates of intelligent behavior have transformed cognitive experiment and theory. There is already enough known about how our brains process information to render many traditional theories obsolete and a unified neurally-based cognitive science is arising. Linguistics and Philosophy have, for both historical and technical reasons, been slow to integrate even the most basic neuroscience. Much of fundamental neuroscience is done with animals and, since only people use language, there is no easy way to extend animal findings to human thought and language.

The talk is based on a new book (http://www.m2mbook.org) that is a systematic attempt to show how human language and thought arise as an extension of the physiology and experiences that people share with other animals. Integrating findings from all the cognitive sciences yields a foundation for an explicitly neural theory of language that is an integral part of contemporary science.


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