How the Brain Got Language – Towards a New Road Map

| University of California at San Diego, La Jolla
ISBN 9789027207623 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027260673 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
How did humans evolve biologically so that our brains and social interactions could support language processes, and how did cultural evolution lead to the invention of languages (signed as well as spoken)? This book addresses these questions through comparative (neuro)primatology – comparative study of brain, behavior and communication in monkeys, apes and humans – and an EvoDevoSocio framework for approaching biological and cultural evolution within a shared perspective. Each chapter provides an authoritative yet accessible review from a different discipline: linguistics (evolutionary, computational and neuro), archeology and neuroarcheology, macaque neurophysiology, comparative neuroanatomy, primate behavior, and developmental studies. These diverse perspectives are unified by having each chapter close with a section on its implications for creating a new road map for multidisciplinary research. These implications include assessment of the pluses and minuses of the Mirror System Hypothesis as an “old” road map. The cumulative road map is then presented in the concluding chapter. Originally published as a special issue of Interaction Studies 19:1/2 (2018).
[Benjamins Current Topics, 112]  2020.  vii, 393 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Introducing the Volume: “How the brain got language: Towards a new road map”
Michael A. Arbib
An Old Road Map to Draw Upon
Computational challenges of evolving the language-ready brain: 1. From manual action to protosign
Michael A. Arbib
Computational challenges of evolving the language-ready brain: 2. Building towards neurolinguistics
Michael A. Arbib
Starting from the Macaque
Reflections on the differential organization of mirror neuron systems for hand and mouth and their role in the evolution of communication in primates
Gino Coudé and Pier Francesco Ferrari
Plasticity, innateness, and the path to language in the primate brain: Comparing macaque, chimpanzee and human circuitry for visuomotor integration
Erin Hecht
Voice, gesture and working memory in the emergence of speech
Francisco Aboitiz
Bringing in Emotion
Relating the evolution of Music-Readiness and Language-Readiness within the context of comparative neuroprimatology
Uwe Seifert
Why do we want to talk? Evolution of neural substrates of emotion and social cognition
Katerina Semendeferi
Mind the gap – moving beyond the dichotomy between intentional gestures and emotional facial and vocal signals of nonhuman primates
Katja Liebal and Linda Oña
Turn-taking and Prosociality
From sharing food to sharing information: Cooperative breeding and language evolution
Judith M. Burkart, Eloisa Guerreiro Martins, Fabia Miss and Yvonne Zürcher
Social manipulation, turn-taking and cooperation in apes: Implications for the evolution of language-based interaction in humans
Federico Rossano
Language origins: Fitness consequences, platform of trust, cooperation, and turn-taking
Sławomir Wacewicz and Przemysław Żywiczyński
Imitation, Pantomime and Development
The evolutionary roots of human imitation, action understanding and symbols
Masako Myowa-Yamakoshi
Pantomime and imitation in great apes: Implications for reconstructing the evolution of language
Anne E. Russon
From action to spoken and signed language through gesture: Some basic developmental issues for a discussion on the evolution of the human language-ready brain
Virginia Volterra, Olga Capirci, Pasquale Rinaldi and Laura Sparaci
Praxis, symbol and language: Developmental, ecological and linguistic issues
Chris Sinha
Action, Tool Making and Language
Archaeology and the evolutionary neuroscience of language: The technological pedagogy hypothesis
Dietrich Stout
Tracing the evolutionary trajectory of verbal working memory with neuro-archaeology
Shelby S. Putt and Sobanawartiny Wijeakumar
From actions to events: Communicating through language and gesture
James Pustejovsky
Meaning and Grammar Emerging
From evolutionarily conserved frontal regions for sequence processing to human innovations for syntax
Benjamin Wilson and Christopher I. Petkov
The evolution of enhanced conceptual complexity and of Broca’s area: Language preadaptations
P. Thomas Schoenemann
Mental travels and the cognitive basis of language
Michael C. Corballis
The Road Map
The comparative neuroprimatology 2018 (CNP-2018) road map for research on How the Brain Got Language
Michael A. Arbib, Francisco Aboitiz, Judith M. Burkart, Michael C. Corballis, Gino Coudé, Erin Hecht, Katja Liebal, Masako Myowa-Yamakoshi, James Pustejovsky, Shelby S. Putt, Federico Rossano, Anne E. Russon, P. Thomas Schoenemann, Uwe Seifert, Katerina Semendeferi, Chris Sinha, Dietrich Stout, Virginia Volterra, Sławomir Wacewicz and Benjamin Wilson
“As I see it, this volume provides a fascinating and well-connected mix of approaches to the development of the faculty of language in humans; it will be useful from the last courses of undergraduate programs to the explorations of senior researchers. It provides a new perspective on language research and makes clear the necessity of a multidisciplinary approach. It makes clear as well the need for the integration into the new models of developmental and biological information about both humans and apes, taking into account social and cultural context without forgetting the computation challenges.”
Cited by

Cited by 1 other publications

Hartmann, Stefan & Michael Pleyer
2021. Constructing a protolanguage: reconstructing prehistoric languages in a usage-based construction grammar framework. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 376:1824 Crossref logo

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Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: JMM – Physiological & neuro-psychology, biopsychology
BISAC Subject: PSY020000 – PSYCHOLOGY / Neuropsychology
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2020023476 | Marc record