Cognitive Neuroscience of Language by David Kemmerer (Purdue University, USA)
Cognitive Neuroscience of Language provides an up-to-date, wide-ranging, and pedagogically practical survey of the most important developments in the field. It guides students through the major areas of investigation. After covering background material about the human brain and aphasia syndromes in Parts I-II, chapters in Parts III-VI draw upon prominent theoretical models that characterize particular linguistic domains at both cognitive and neurobiological levels of analysis. In addition, these core chapters illustrate how the different components of the models are supported, and in some cases challenged, by experiments employing diverse brain mapping techniques. A special effort has been made to describe many of these experiments in considerable detail, providing information about their goals, methods, results, and implications. The rationale for such an in-depth approach is that it may help students understand not only how empirical studies are carried out, but also how they contribute to the dynamic interplay between theory and data. To capture some of the latest and most salient developments in the field, all of the chapters from the previous edition have been revised and updated. Some of them, however, have been modified much more than others. The ones that have undergone the greatest changes are Chapter 5 ("Speech perception"); Chapter 6 ("Speech Production"); Chapter 8 ("Object Nouns"); Chapter 9 ("Action Verbs"); Chapter 10 ("Abstract Words"); Chapter 13 ("Sentence Comprehension"); Chapter 14 ("Discourse"); and Chapter 15 ("Reading and Writing"). Because research on the neural substrates of bilingualism has been rapidly accelerating, and because students are often quite interested in this topic, a separate chapter is now devoted to it, Chapter 16 ("The Bilingual Brain"). And, the chapters have been reorganized in such a way that the chapters on reading/writing and sign language are now in Part VI ("Other Topics") toward the end of the book, together with the chapter on bilingualism. Each of these chapters, however, can be read on its own, independently from the other chapters in the book. Although much of the content is inherently challenging, no previous knowledge of either neuroscience or linguistics is required, since technical terms and important principles from both disciplines are explained along the way.
About the Author: David Kemmerer is a professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University.
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