Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's a talking bird!

Cool little article about how the zebra finch genome might point us to genes for speech disorders and help us learn more about the roots of human speech.

Monday, March 22, 2010

On Dreams and Language

An aside about my dreams, as in my aspirations: Ben Zimmer is now the new On Language columnist for the NYTimes Sunday Magazine. I look forward to looking forward to reading his articles weekly. I guess I need to look for other job options now!

And now to the juice of the blog post. I am reading/writing about Freud and the interpretation of dreams. Dreams, it seems, are the semiotic system of the unconscious, the 19th century version of the implicit memory system. Dream-thoughts are the semantemes of dream language, and have the same associative connections that make spreading activation possible. In fact, this connective mechanism is what leads to the production of dreams. Thus the interpreter parses through the connections but never reaches an end because the chain of signification is infinite.

Never thought I'd be passionate about reading Freud, but his accounts of encoding and implicit memory systems really aren't that far off from today's theories!