The Co-evolution of Language and the Brain

Aktivitet: Tale eller præsentation - typerForedrag og mundtlige bidrag

Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet

Ken Ramshøj Christensen - Foredragsholder

Language is central to being human. It comes so natural to us that it is all too easy to overlook its intricate complexity. Language is a unique capacity, and in fact, unique in the biological world. The brain is also – in a very literal sense – central to being human. It is also unique in its complexity. The link between human language and the brain is one of the most fundamental questions of cognitive science and it is key to understanding human evolution.
What is important here is not so much the history of individual words or languages, but rather the evolution of the innate human capacity to acquire language: the language faculty – a trait with obvious benefits for survival and reproduction. The question is how this capacity arose.
I shall argue that the language faculty did not evolve gradually from animal communication or arise as a natural consequence of social intelligence. Rather, the evidence suggests two relatively abrupt evolutionary leaps: the emergence of proto-language and the emergence of syntactic language – both correlating with significant increases in brain size and complexity.

Invited talk
18 sep. 2013

Begivenhed (Konference)

Titel59th Brazilian Congress of Genetics
Forkortet titel59BCG
ByÁrguas de Lindóia, São Paolo


ID: 56292802