Lecture 6

Massive plasticity pro a part of cortex rewired can

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Unformatted text preview: ecificity?   Poverty of the stimulus arguments   Pro ▪  If people end up with grammars that are unconstrained by input, there must be something innate   Con ▪  They could be using domain ­general capacities to come to similar conclusions, given similar evidence ▪  Implicit negative evidence, blocking, conservatism, etc. Language ­specificity?   Genetic specificity   Pro ▪  There are people diagnosed with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), who ostensibly have problems with grammar but nothing else ▪  This trait is heritable, and tied to a specific gene, FOXP2   Con ▪  People with SLI also show lower performance on other cognitive functions, like attention, mental imagery, etc. ▪  Also, FOXP2 occurs in other animals, where it modulates neural plasticity, including learning of vocalizations Language ­specificity?   Species specificity   Pro ▪  Only humans have human language, so there must be a genetic component to it   Con ▪  Doesn’t imply anything about language ­specificity Domain ­generality?   Re ­use of brain structures   Pro ▪  Language uses parts of the brain that are also used for other functions (like perception, motor control, recall, attention, etc.) ▪  So it looks like scaffolding   Con ▪  This could be the product of exaptation, where humans evolved specific pathways dedicated for this to subserve language Domain ­generality?   Massive plasticity   Pro ▪  A part of cortex, rewired, can perform a different function ▪  It appears that cortex mostly learns ▪  And we don’t have enough information in genes to hard ­ wire connections   Con ▪  We don’t know if “language areas” are plastic Domain ­generality?   Very little cortical wiring is innate   Pro ▪  Even in vision, genes mostly set up global architecture of projections and brain physiology ▪  Learning does the rest ▪  Vision has had more time to evolve than language, so language probably has no more innate structure prewired   Con ▪  Innate language expectations might be in the form of connections or something Where does that leave...
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This note was uploaded on 02/09/2014 for the course COGS 101c taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at UCSD.

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