word-08-1

word-08-1 - In a Word Fall 2008 Instructor: Prof. Hagit...

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Unformatted text preview: In a Word Fall 2008 Instructor: Prof. Hagit Borer Teaching Assistants (Section and Lab Leaders): Canan Ipek, Yi Hsien Liu 02 What is Linguistics? Linguistics is the Scientific Study of Words and Language What is Science? What are Words? What is Language? Bruce Hill was doing some Monday morning proselytizing about his Mormon faith, which is not unusual except that his skull was spread open and Dr. Mitchel S. Berger was tinkering with the temporal lobe. Hill was awake and talking during his brain surgery so that Berger could test his language skills. There was a tumor in there that had to come out. And the only way to know what brain matter could safely come out with it was to ask the patient. The procedure is called awake brain mapping and it works as a process of elimination. The surgeon uses an electrical charge to inactivate an area of the brain . Then the patient is presented with a question, in the form of a word or object drawn on a computer screen. If he can answer correctly with that area inactivated, then that tissue can be removed without causing brain damage. "We need to find out where his language pathways are and where they're not," says Berger, professor and chairman of Neurological Surgery at UCSF Medical Center. What brought Hill to the table was the recurrence of a glioma, the common form of brain cancer, a tumor that had been removed seven years ago He is put under anesthesia while a question mark- shaped incision is cut around his left ear. The skin is brought over the forehead and pinned in place. The skull is drilled, and a 2-by-3-inch section of the temporal bone lifted off. Next, Hill is awakened. While waiting for the language test to begin, he's glad to answer any questions about the Mormon church. It's any questions about the Mormon church....
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word-08-1 - In a Word Fall 2008 Instructor: Prof. Hagit...

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