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Radiolab: Words


We meet a woman who taught a 27-year-old man the first words of his life, hear a firsthand account of what it feels like to have the language center of your brain wiped out by a stroke, and retrace the birth of a brand new language 30 years ago.

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GUESTS:  Charles Fernyhough Susan Schaller Ann Senghas James Shapiro Elizabeth Spelke and  Jill Bolte Taylor

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Words that Change the World

 

Susan Schaller believes that the best idea she ever had in her life had to do with an isolated young man she met one day at a community college. He was 27-years-old at the time, and though he had been born deaf, no one had ever taught him to sign. ...

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A World Without Words

 

One morning, neurologist  Jill Bolte Taylor woke up with a headache. A blood vessel then burst inside her left hemisphere, and silenced all the brain chatter in her head. She was left with no language. No memories. Just sensory intake, and an all-encompassing feeling of joy.

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New Words, New World

 

In the late 1970s, a new language was born. And  Ann Senghas, Associate Professor of Psychology at Barnard, has spent the last 30 years helping to decode it. In 1978, 50 deaf children entered a newly formed school--a school in which the teachers (who didn't sign) taught in Spanish. No ...

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Friday, May 17, 2013
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