In this book, Bergen introduces the reader to “the new science of how the mind makes meaning”, what might be called linguistic psychology. The conventional theory of how our brain extracts meaning from language postulates the existence of “mentalese”, a language with no physical embodiment that people translate into and out of to make meaning from real languages. There are a host of operational and philosophical problems with this proposition, so a new generation of scientists have formulated the embodied simulation hypothesis. Write my essay australia or review. Under the ESH, the mind makes meaning from language by simulating the actual actions, events, places, people, etc. described by the language. The majority of the book is devoted to describing the wealth of experimental evidence supporting the ESH. Language about objects seems to be processed by forming a mental image of the object; brain areas associated with vision are activated. Language about body motions activates areas of the brain associated with actual body motion. Bergen does a nice job of compiling the experimental evidence and presenting it in a way that is interesting and engaging. The latter few chapters admit that there is still much to be learned (how we extract meaning from metaphorical language, for example).
Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
This is one of the most thought-provoking books I have read in a while. Kahneman brilliantly exposes the serious flaws that are present in many of our decision-making processes as he outlines decades of his own research the field. He spends the large majority of the book delineating between two fictional brain “characters”, System 1 and System 2, and how they generally approach choices and decisions. System 1 is a quick emotional reaction that draws largely on experience, whereas System 2 is a slower, thought-out rational approach. Both System 1 and System 2 are subject to a myriad of cognitive biases, which Kahneman systematically details. He also suggests possible approaches for minimizing the effects of these biases. Near the end of the book, he outlines how his system demarcation of brain processes relates to two other delineations in behavioral science, Humans vs. Econs and the Experiencing Self vs. the Remembering Self. This is perhaps the most intriguing part of the book, as Kahneman applies the findings from the main body of the book to closely related fields, behavioral economics and the study of memory. A fascinating read for anyone interested in current understanding of how the human mind operates.