Language universals at birth

The evolution of human languages is driven both by primitive biases present in the human sensorimotor systems and by cultural transmission among speakers. However, whether the design of the language faculty is further shaped by linguistic biological biases remains controversial. To address this question, we used near-infrared spectroscopy to examine whether the brain activity of … Read more

Embers of society: Firelight talk among Bushmen

Abstract   Much attention has been focused on control of fire in human evolution and the impact of cooking on anatomy, social, and residential arrangements. However, little is known about what transpired when firelight extended the day, creating effective time for social activities that did not conflict with productive time for subsistence activities. Comparison of … Read more

The Symbolic Nature of Language – Olav Torheim, Red Ice

Olav Torheim is a Norwegian engineer and editor of Målmannen, a journal focusing on language, culture and politics. Torheim has a PhD in Physics and worked at different research institutions in France and Germany before returning to Norway two years ago. Using Målmannen as a platform, he tries to promote a traditional Nordic and European … Read more

Fear across the senses: brain responses to music, vocalizations and facial expressions

Abstract   “…subject-specific amygdala responses to fearful music and vocalizations were correlated, consistent with the proposal that the brain circuitry involved in the processing of musical emotions might be shared with the one that have evolved for vocalizations. Overall, our results show that processing of fear expressed through music, engages some of the same brain … Read more

Musicians have enhanced subcortical auditory and audiovisual processing of speech and music

Abstract   Musical training is known to modify cortical organization. Here, we show that such modifications extend to subcortical sensory structures and generalize to processing of speech. Musicians had earlier and larger brainstem responses than nonmusician controls to both speech and music stimuli presented in auditory and audiovisual conditions, evident as early as 10 ms … Read more

BioAcoustics – What the Voice Tells

State of Health revealed by voice. Sound making and sound discerning account for 30% of brain volume. It is that important. Body posture helps set presence, state of mind and being. No doubt the voice does as well.