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ERIC Number: ED125283
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Dec
Pages: 31
Abstractor: N/A
The Role of the Limbic System in Human Communication.
Lamendella, John T.
Linguistics has chosen as its niche the language component of human communication and, naturally enough, the neurolinguist has concentrated on lateralized language systems of the cerebral hemispheres. However, decoding a speaker's total message requires attention to gestures, facial expressions, and prosodic features, as well as other somatic and visceral nonverbal communication channels over and above the sentences uttered. Speech is normally produced within a matrix of behavior patterns output both by intentional and by automatic nonverbal communication systems. The neural structures responsible for this nonlinguistic communication develop early in human ontogeny and evolved in phylogeny before language. To fully understand language and its neural substrata, the scope of the neurolinguist's concern must be broadened to include the entire range of subcortical and cortical systems responsible for human communication of all types and levels. Especially relevant is the "limbic system," a forebrain complex shared homologously by all mammals. In the first year of postnatal life the human infant develops several types of limbically based communication patterns. In adults, limbic communication systems and limbically regulated social and emotional behavior patterns integrate with symbolic, propositionally based linguistic behavior of the left hemisphere mediated by specialized systems of the right hemisphere. This paper presents an overview of the anatomical structure of the limbic system and a summary of past proposals for the functional organization of limbic information processing systems. Citing both experimental work on limbic involvement in primate social communication and clinical evidence on limbic involvement in various types of human neural dysfunctions, a framework will be presented within which the relationship of limbic and linguistic communication may be considered. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A