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April 28, 2021 Wednesday 02:36:47 PM IST

Not All Aspects of Human Language, Cognition Related to Brain Structures

A study done by Dr Prakash Mondal, Assistant Professor, Department of Liberal Arts, has shown that all aspects of human cognition and language cannot be succesfuly reduced to neurobiology or brain structures. It was noticed that activity in the left anterior temporal lobe (LATL) in the brain increased when the first word in a phrase such as 'wooden furniture' is integrated into the second word. But the linguistic and logical aspects of such constructions are not captured by these patterns. Thus, many such properties of human language and cognition are hard to be integrated into and united with, human brain structures.

Dr. Prakash Mondal, the researcher, says, “With the rise of biological studies of language, we seem to become closer to a deep understanding of human language and cognition, but significant and often unique differences in experience, appearance, form, and organization of certain aspects of human language and cognition can pose hard problems and challenges to brain and cognitive sciences.”

Aspects of human language that have complex mathematical patterns as deployed in human reasoning and other cognitive processes are hard to be united with brain structures. For instance, human language permits the formation of the negation of a sentence, as in 'It is not so that he wanted to run away' vs. the negation of a constituent, as in 'He ran to the store, not to his office'. This helps in reasoning about what it is that did not happen, as opposed to, about what it is that someone did not get to. No known brain mechanisms and processes capture this distinction in neuronal terms. Likewise, symmetric patterns can be found in human language, as in 'What I want is a book' vs. 'A book is what I want', and again, no known brain mechanisms and processes express this mirror-like reversal of the pieces of structures.

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