Aug 19, 2010
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. He had lived his entire life without language--until Susan found a way to reach out to him.
Charles Fernyhough doesn't think that very young children think--at least not in a way he'd recognize as thinking. Charles explains what he means by walking us through an experiment in a white room. And Elizabeth Spelke weighs in with research from her baby lab--which suggests a child's brain begins as a series of islands, until it can find the right words and phrases to bridge the gaps.
James Shapiro, a Shakespeare scholar at Columbia, argues that Shakespeare behaved more like a chemist than a writer: by smashing words together--words like eye and ball--he created new words, and new ways of seeing the world.