Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Trends Cogn Sci. 2013 Feb;17(2):89-98. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2012.12.002. Epub 2013 Jan 9.

Evolution, brain, and the nature of language.

Author information

1
Department of Electrical Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

Abstract

Language serves as a cornerstone for human cognition, yet much about its evolution remains puzzling. Recent research on this question parallels Darwin's attempt to explain both the unity of all species and their diversity. What has emerged from this research is that the unified nature of human language arises from a shared, species-specific computational ability. This ability has identifiable correlates in the brain and has remained fixed since the origin of language approximately 100 thousand years ago. Although songbirds share with humans a vocal imitation learning ability, with a similar underlying neural organization, language is uniquely human.

PMID:
23313359
DOI:
10.1016/j.tics.2012.12.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center