Advances in Computational Electrodynamics: The Finite by Allen Taflove

By Allen Taflove

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An understanding of the interrelation of brain and language depends largely on the satisfactory analysis of the various levels and conditions in which the two complex systems—the physical biological entity and the highly symbolic human behavioral and learned manifestation—may correlate. Because there is little scientific interest in the broad approach to this subject, one is initially forced to fragment the problem into partial correlations. This latter approach implies a belief that, at least in broad terms, language as a whole can be understood from the study of its components, and that, similarly, the function of the entire brain can be understood from the study of its subcomponents.

One can distinguish the mode: phonological-vocal medium; the content: the semantic organization of cognition and the linguistic interphase proper; the procedural algorithms of syntax and the store of phonological symbols: the lexicon. One must initially recognize the interdependence of speech and language with other functions, but, at the same time, one must acknowledge the relative independence of their functional organization. Contemporary neurosciences have taken renewed interest in the study of brain activities and structure in relation to higher manifestations of behavior.

Biology (the brain) does not fully explain human behavior without the simultaneous consideration of cultural, environmental, and even individual circumstantial factors. However, in this new approach to the problem, not all traditional disci- 3. Brain and Language: The Rules of the Game 49 plines have equal opportunity to affect the current development of our knowledge of the neurobiology of language. Whether traditional disciplines will so affect our knowledge will be dictated by the progress we make in understanding the nature of the problems involved.

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