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The emergence of art and language in the human brain

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Our brains are characterized by sensory pathways that are highly reflexive, allowing higher cortical centres to control neural activity patterns at peripheral sensory areas. This feature is characterized as an internal sketchpad and involves recursive interactions between central symbols and peripheral images. The process is assumed to be the fundamental mechanism underlying most cognitive functions. The paper attempts to portray the beginnings of art and language as natural extensions of these pre-existing internal processes, made possible by the greatly enlarged human prefrontal cortex. It views these highly social activities as originating in subjective, private discourse between the emerging self and its externalized expressions.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Physics, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244- 1130 USA.

Publication date: June 1, 1999

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