Thursday, June 02, 2005

Learning from injury

My background is in neuroscience, and one of the fascinating phenomena that have been studied through the years are brain injuries that result in a very narrow deficit -- for example, we learned a lot about how the brain processes language from patients who showed problems in comprehending, but not generating, spoken language (or vice versa), as well as those who seem to have fine visual function, but are unable to recognize faces. The most recent example of this sort of research is the announcement by a San Diego group of an apparent linkage between a particular brain region and comprehension of metaphors (i.e., nonliteral turns of phrase). Still a small number of patients involved, but another piece of the immense puzzle of how our brains can process huge amounts of information in all the sophisticated ways that they generally do . . .

(via Follow Me Here)

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