From Molecule to Metaphor

From Molecule to Metaphor : A Neural Theory of Language

3.84 (75 ratings by Goodreads)
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In From Molecule to Metaphor, Jerome Feldman proposes a theory of language and thought that treats language not as an abstract symbol system but as a human biological ability that can be studied as a function of the brain, as vision and motor control are studied. This theory, he writes, is a "bridging theory" that works from extensive knowledge at two ends of a causal chain to explicate the links between. Although the cognitive sciences are revealing much about how our brains produce language and thought, we do not yet know exactly how words are understood or have any methodology for finding out. Feldman develops his theory in computer simulations-formal models that suggest ways that language and thought may be realized in the brain. Combining key findings and theories from biology, computer science, linguistics, and psychology, Feldman synthesizes a theory by exhibiting programs that demonstrate the required behavior while remaining consistent with the findings from all disciplines.

After presenting the essential results on language, learning, neural computation, the biology of neurons and neural circuits, and the mind/brain, Feldman introduces specific demonstrations and formal models of such topics as how children learn their first words, words for abstract and metaphorical concepts, understanding stories, and grammar (including "hot-button" issues surrounding the innateness of human grammar). With this accessible, comprehensive book Feldman offers readers who want to understand how our brains create thought and language a theory of language that is intuitively plausible and also consistent with existing scientific data at all levels.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17mm | 522g
  • Bradford Books
  • Massachusetts, United States
  • English
  • 37 illus.; 37 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0262562359
  • 9780262562355
  • 509,443

Review quote

"An outstanding and exciting book on the relationship between purpose and reference, and essential reading for cognitive scientists interested in the naturalization of intentionality."--Vittorio Gallese, Department of Neuroscience, University of Parma "In From Molecule to Metaphor, Jerome Feldman takes us on a fascinating tour through the mysteries of the human brain, revealing new and unexpected vistas. The ideas are deep, as should be expected from one of the pioneers in the field, but also lucidly presented for the nonspecialist reader." V.S. Ramachandran , Professor and Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego "In his new book From Molecule to Metaphor: A Neural Theory of Language (MIT Press, 2006), cognitive scientist Jerome Feldman constructs an objective, coherent account of language and thought in the broad context of cognitive science research and data in the 21st century. The book is a must read for those interested in interdisciplinary approaches to language and thought." Teenie Matlock , PhD, Founding Faculty & Assistant Professor of Cognitive Science, University of California, Merced "*Being No One* is essential reading for all scholars interested in the study of the self and of its distortions. In this thought-provoking book Metzinger presents an exciting new theory of phenomenal awareness, a theory that has the merit of being firmly grounded on a vast neuroscientific and psychopathological literature, which is here synthesized and made available to a wider audience for the first time."--Vittorio Gallese, Department of Neuroscience, University of Parma
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About Jerome Feldman

Jerome A. Feldman is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and former Director of the Cognitive Science Program at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Research Scientist at the International Computer Science Institute.
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Rating details

75 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 35% (26)
4 28% (21)
3 27% (20)
2 8% (6)
1 3% (2)
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