From Molecule to Metaphor: A Neural Theory of Language

From Molecule to Metaphor: A Neural Theory of Language

by Jerome Feldman
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262562359

ISBN-13: 9780262562355

Pub. Date: 03/31/2008

Publisher: MIT Press

In From Molecule to Metaphor, Jerome Feldman proposes a theory of language and thought that treats language not as an abstract symbol system but as a human biological ability that can be studied as a function of the brain, as vision and motor control are studied. This theory, he writes, is a
"bridging theory" that works from extensive knowledge at two

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Overview

In From Molecule to Metaphor, Jerome Feldman proposes a theory of language and thought that treats language not as an abstract symbol system but as a human biological ability that can be studied as a function of the brain, as vision and motor control are studied. This theory, he writes, is a
"bridging theory" that works from extensive knowledge at two ends of a causal chain to explicate the links between. Although the cognitive sciences are revealing much about how our brains produce language and thought, we do not yet know exactly how words are understood or have any methodology for finding out. Feldman develops his theory in computer simulations -- formal models that suggest ways that language and thought may be realized in the brain. Combining key findings and theories from biology, computer science, linguistics, and psychology, Feldman synthesizes a theory by exhibiting programs that demonstrate the required behavior while remaining consistent with the findings from all disciplines.

After presenting the essential results on language, learning, neural computation, the biology of neurons and neural circuits, and the mind/brain, Feldman introduces specific demonstrations and formal models of such topics as how children learn their first words, words for abstract and metaphorical concepts, understanding stories,
and grammar (including "hot-button" issues surrounding the innateness of human grammar). With this accessible, comprehensive book Feldman offers readers who want to understand how our brains create thought and language a theory of language that is intuitively plausible and also consistent with existing scientific data at all levels.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262562355
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
03/31/2008
Series:
Bradford Books Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.68(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

1The mystery of embodied language3
2The information processing perspective15
3Computational models29
4Neurons and other cells43
5The society of neurons59
6Nature and nurture71
7Connections in the mind85
8Embodied concepts and their words95
9The computational bridge105
10First words125
11Conceptual schemas and cultural frames135
12Learning spatial relation words149
13Embodied knowledge of actions163
14Learning action words173
15Conceptual systems185
16Metaphors and meaning199
17Understanding as simulation213
18The structure of action and events227
19Belief and inference235
20Understanding news stories245
21Combining forms - grammar259
22The language wars271
23Combining meaning - embodied construction grammar283
24Embodied language understanding297
25Learning constructions311
26Remaining mysteries325
27All together now333

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