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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Hidden Talent

The right brain is the "animal brain" and analyzes the environment for the sights and sounds useful for survival. In essence, animals are almost 100% "right-brained." Humans have kept the animal talents on the right side, but have modified the left brain for language and tool use.

The following is a summary of talents found in the left brain. Each talent is a complex network of different processes beyond what is mentioned here, but injuries or strokes in these areas would result in serious loss of these specific talents.
Language Sounds

Sound input in the human left brain is specialized for discriminating the sounds of language. As children grow in the first few months, their sound patch in the temporal lobe is hearing the sounds of people talking, and remembering that certain sound patterns seem to always match certain objects and actions.

Animals do have a limited symbolic vocabulary, and can communicate concepts with certain sounds. The song sparrow in the tree near our house sings a very definite song, which other song sparrows, out of sight, can translate as meaning that he is claiming territory. This is definitely using a specific sound as a symbol to communicate a real world concept. In contrast, a dog growling and baring its fangs is not being very subtle or symbolic.
(Click here for a song sparrow territorial call -- 92 kb .wav file.)

Humans can make very fine distinctions in sound, and therefore meaning. For example we can distinguish the difference in sound of "sat" and "sad." Instead of one bird song meaning "territory," we have pages of words on a real estate contract. (If complexity of vocabulary and grammar is a measure of human evolution, then this implies that, on the average, left-brained women who talk a lot are more "human" than most men who do more grunting, and lawyers, poets, and talk-show hosts may represent more evolutionarily advanced, human careers.)

Books give children exposure to much more complex vocabulary, and proper grammar, than children will ever hear from oral language in normal family or school life. This is especially true if parents read to the children, which gives young children access to language and ideas years ahead of their own reading ability. Read, read, read!!!
Vision and Reading

vision in the human left brain is specialized for reading. The left brain learns to see arrangements of lines we call alphabet letters.
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Posted by Ajay :: 10:09 AM :: 0 comments

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