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 How shall we slice up our organism? how do Professionals? Anatomist or Physiologist? Neurologist or Pathologist? Anthropologist or Linguist? Phrenologist or Phraud? That depends who’s paying, or presenting, or publishing. Evidently, the ‘demarcation problem’ (of how to tell “science” from “non­-science” (Popper) (and/or “pseudoscience”) is, rather, a meta-demarcation meta-problem. As for the semiomindbrain—to suffer death by a thousand cuts, or by a single schism? While we still hear semi-sound scientists speak of language as “a left-hemisphere function,” or of the right hemisphere as “non-linguistic,” such simplistic notions are—at best—outdated. While it is not to be confused with pop­-psy brand “Neuro-Linguistic Programming,” neurolinguistics covers a vast field of (oft­-redundant) research by (oft­-acrimonious) technicians working under a variety of (oft­-questionable) assumptions and constraints. As we would expect of a “pre­-paradigmatic” science (Kuhn), many specific gains afforded by advances in brain imaging are offset by general lack of rigor in design of experiments, selection of data, and surmise of findings. Nevertheless, we still find a great deal of good science.

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fig.44—the Phonological­-Articulatory Loop (PAL) in brief


 The controlled study of localized language functions in the brain begins with the 1836 discovery by the neurologist Marc Dax of what we now call (Paul) “Broca’s area” after the 1861 re­-discovery which in turn inspired the 1874 discovery of (Carl) “Wernicke’s area” as in our rudimentary fig.44 schema of the feedback circuit in the cerebral cortex that recursively governs the planning­-to-execution of speech, gesture, and tool usage. For a quick spin in the Loop avant la lettre, we petition the (as it were) father of experimental psychology:


“[T]he sentence is both a simultaneous and a sequential structure. It is simultaneous because at each moment it is present in consciousness as a totality even though the individual subordinate elements may occasionally disappear from it. It is sequential because the configuration changes from moment to moment in its cognitive condition as individual constituents move into the focus of attention and out again one after another.”—Wilhelm Wundt 1904

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