The present study examined the neural substrate of two classes of quantifiers: numerical quantifiers like â at least threeâ which require magnitude processing, and logical quantifiers like â someâ which can be understood using a simple form of perceptual logic. We assessed these distinct classes of quantifiers with converging observations from two sources: functional imaging data from healthy adults, and behavioral and structural data from patients with corticobasal degeneration who have acalculia. Our findings are consistent with the claim that numerical (...) quantifier comprehension depends on a lateral parietal-dorsolateral prefrontal network, but logical quantifier comprehension depends instead on a rostral medial prefrontal-posterior cingulate network. These observations emphasize the important contribution of abstract number knowledge to the meaning of numerical quantifiers in semantic memory and the potential role of a logic-based evaluation in the service of non-numerical quantifiers. (shrink)
We consider connections between number sense—the ability to judge number—and the interpretation of natural language quantifiers. In particular, we present empirical evidence concerning the neuroanatomical underpinnings of number sense and quantifier interpretation. We show, further, that impairment of number sense in patients can result in the impairment of the ability to interpret sentences containing quantifiers. This result demonstrates that number sense supports some aspects of the language faculty.
This paper examines the role that linguistic and cognitive prominence play in the resolution of anaphor–antecedent relationships. In two experiments, we found that pronouns are immediately sensitive to the cognitive prominence of potential antecedents when other antecedent selection cues are uninformative. In experiment 1, results suggest that despite their theoretical dissimilarities, topic and contrastive focus both serve to enhance cognitive prominence. Results from experiment 2 suggest that the contrastive prosody appropriate for focus constructions may also play an important role in (...) enhancing cognitive prominence. Thus different types of linguistic prominence (topic, contrastive focus) appear to have the common effect of increasing the cognitive prominence of the discourse referent. For pronouns with two possible antecedents, the cognitive prominence of an antecedent aids in anaphor resolution, immediately biasing selection towards the more prominent (and ultimately preferred) antecedent. (shrink)
The guiding theme of these essays by aesthetician, musician, and Santayana scholar Morris Grossman is the importance of preserving the tension between what can be unified and what is disorganized, random, and miscellaneous. Grossman described this as the tension between art and morality: Art arrests a sense of change and yields moments of unguarded enjoyment and peace; but soon, shifting circumstances compel evaluation, decision, and action. According to Grossman, the best art preserves the tension between the aesthetic consummation of experience (...) and the press of morality understood as the business of navigating conflicts, making choices, and meeting needs. This concern was intimately related to his reading of George Santayana. The best philosophy, like the best art, preserves the tension between what can be ordered and what resists assimilation, and Grossman read Santayana as exemplifying this virtue in his embrace of multiple perspectives. Other scholars have noted the multiplicity or irony in Santayana's work, but Grossman was unique in taking such a style to be a substantive part of Santayana's philosophizing. (shrink)
During the years 1814–1819, William Higgins, an Irish chemist who worked at the Dublin Society, claimed he had anticipated John Dalton in developing the atomic theory and insinuated that Dalton was a plagiarist. This essay focuses not on William Higgins, but on his uncle Bryan Higgins, a well-known chemist of his day, who had developed his own theories of caloric and chemical combination, similar in many respects to that of Dalton. New evidence is first introduced addressing Bryan's disappearance from the (...) scientific community after 1803. In his later years, Bryan apparently suffered from a condition resulting in a decline in his mental health, which explains why he never lodged any priority claims of his own against Dalton, or defended those of his nephew. Dalton's mention of Bryan's name in Part II ofA New System of Chemical Philosophy, his laboratory notebook entries, and a fresh look at his correspondence with chemist Thomas Charles Hope indicate that Dalton adopted a Higgins-like caloric model in 1803. Together these factors provide evidence to support the argument that Dalton learned of Bryan's theories via a meeting he had with William Allen on 10 July 1803. Existing evidence related to the origin of the atomic theory is worthy of re-examination in light of Dalton's possible prior knowledge of Bryan's work. (shrink)
Agriculture in the Netherlands is a critical industry, in terms of both its share of available land and its importance to the Dutch economy. Cultural-technical improvements and intensification of land use have resulted in increased productivity, but have also threatened vulnerable and valuable natural habitats and landscapes. TheRelatienota, a government report issued in 1975, introduced an environmental policy implemented by regulation in 1983 and 1988. Under this policy,Relatienota areas (management areas and reserves) are established. Farmers in management areas voluntarily enter (...) private contracts (management agreements) with the government, in which they promise to tailor agricultural production to nature and landscape conservation. By compensating farmers for activities that maintain existing natural conditions, management agreements provide the incentive for extraordinary efforts to protect agricultural environments for valuable plant and animal species. Particularly sensitive natural areas, where environmental values are incompatible with economic farming, are identified as reserves, and the land is purchased for specialized management.AlthoughRelatienota policy has been implemented on a limited number of hectares, it is an important component of the efforts in the Netherlands to protect and preserve vulnerable natural areas. As a model of negotiated cooperation between government, farmers, and nature protection interests, its success may encourage other nations in the Economic Community to use private contracts to further societal goals. (shrink)
Indirect speech acts—responding “I forgot to wear my watch today” to someone who asked for the time—are ubiquitous in daily conversation, but are understudied in current neurobiological models of language. To comprehend an indirect speech act like this one, listeners must not only decode the lexical-semantic content of the utterance, but also make a pragmatic, bridging inference. This inference allows listeners to derive the speaker’s true, intended meaning—in the above dialog, for example, that the speaker cannot provide the time. In (...) the present work, we address this major gap by asking non-aphasic patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and brain-damaged controls with amnestic mild cognitive impairment to judge simple question-answer dialogs of the form: “Do you want some cake for dessert?” “I’m on a very strict diet right now,” and relate the results to structural and diffusion MRI. Accuracy and reaction time results demonstrate that subjects with bvFTD, but not MCI, are selectively impaired in indirect relative to direct speech act comprehension, due in part to their social and executive limitations, and performance is related to caregivers’ judgment of communication efficacy. MRI imaging associates the observed impairment in bvFTD to cortical thinning not only in traditional language-associated regions, but also in fronto-parietal regions implicated in social and executive cerebral networks. Finally, diffusion tensor imaging analyses implicate white matter tracts in both dorsal and ventral projection streams, including superior longitudinal fasciculus, frontal aslant, and uncinate fasciculus. These results have strong implications for updated neurobiological models of language, and emphasize a core, language-mediated social disorder in patients with bvFTD. (shrink)
This book is a collection of articles previously published in various literary and cultural journals. It deals with a large number of topics including “magical realism,” “auratic practice”, and “neolibidinal epistemic nostalgia”. It is enriched with words like axolotl, catachresis, interpellations, neo-Arielism, subalternism, and prosopopeic.