Giosuè Baggio

Giosuè Baggio is Professor of Psycholinguistics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway, and the author of Meaning in the Brain (MIT Press).

  • Neurolinguistics

    Giosuè Baggio

    : An accessible introduction to the study of language in the brain, covering language processing, language acquisition, literacy, and language disorders.

    Neurolinguistics, the study of language in the brain, describes the anatomical structures (networks of neurons in the brain) and physiological processes (ways for these networks to be active) that allow humans to learn and use one or more languages. It draws on neuroscience, linguistics—particularly theoretical linguistics—and other disciplines. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Giosuè Baggio offers an accessible introduction to the fundamentals of neurolinguistics, covering language processing, language acquisition, literacy, and speech and language disorders.

    Baggio first surveys the evolution of the field, describing discoveries by Paul Broca, Carl Wernicke, Noam Chomsky, and others. He discusses mapping language in “brain time” and “brain space” and the constraints of neurolinguistic models. Considering language acquisition, he explains that a child is never a “blank slate”: infants and young children are only able to acquire specific aspects of language in specific stages of cognitive development. He addresses the neural consequences of bilingualism; literacy, discussing how forms of visual language in the brain differ from forms of auditory language; aphasia and the need to understand language disorders in behavioral, functional, and neuroanatomical terms; neurogenetics of language; and the neuroethology of language, tracing the origins of the neural and behavioral building blocks of human linguistic communication to the evolution of avian, mammalian, and primate brains.

    • Paperback $15.95
  • Meaning in the Brain

    Meaning in the Brain

    Giosuè Baggio

    An argument that the meaning of written or auditory linguistic signals is not derived from the input but results from the brain's internal construction process.

    When we read a text or listen to speech, meaning seems to be given to us instantaneously, as if it were part of the input. In Meaning in the Brain, Giosuè Baggio explains that this is an illusion created by the tremendous speed at which sensory systems and systems for meaning and grammar operate in the brain. Meaning, Baggio argues, is not derived from input but results from the brain's internal construction process. With this book, Baggio offers the first integrated, multilevel theory of semantics in the brain, describing how meaning is generated during language comprehension, production, and acquisition.

    Baggio's theory draws on recent advances in formal semantics and pragmatics, including vector-space semantics, discourse representation theory, and signaling game theory. It is designed to explain a growing body of experimental results on semantic processing that have accumulated in the absence of a unifying theory since the introduction of electrophysiology and neuroimaging methods.

    Baggio argues that there is evidence for the existence of three semantic systems in the brain—relational semantics, interpretive semantics, and evolutionary semantics—and he discusses each in turn, developing neural theories of meaning for all three. Moreover, in the course of his argument, Baggio addresses several long-standing issues in the neuroscience of language, including the role of compositionality as a principle of meaning construction in the brain, the role of sensory-motor processes in language comprehension, and the neural and evolutionary links among meaning, consciousness, sociality, and action.

    • Hardcover $65.00

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  • The Cognitive Neurosciences, Fourth Edition

    The Cognitive Neurosciences, Fourth Edition

    Michael S. Gazzaniga

    The fourth edition of the work that defines the field of cognitive neuroscience, offering completely new material.

    Each edition of this classic reference has proved to be a benchmark in the developing field of cognitive neuroscience. The fourth edition of The Cognitive Neurosciences continues to chart new directions in the study of the biologic underpinnings of complex cognition—the relationship between the structural and physiological mechanisms of the nervous system and the psychological reality of the mind. The material in this edition is entirely new, with all chapters written specifically for it.

    Since the publication of the third edition, the field of cognitive neuroscience has made rapid and dramatic advances; fundamental stances are changing and new ideas are emerging. This edition reflects the vibrancy of the field, with research in development and evolution that finds a dynamic growth pattern becoming specific and fixed, and research in plasticity that sees the neuronal systems always changing; exciting new empirical evidence on attention that also verifies many central tenets of longstanding theories; work that shows the boundaries of the motor system pushed further into cognition; memory research that, paradoxically, provides insight into how humans imagine future events; pioneering theoretical and methodological work in vision; new findings on how genes and experience shape the language faculty; new ideas about how the emotional brain develops and operates; and research on consciousness that ranges from a novel mechanism for how the brain generates the baseline activity necessary to sustain conscious experience to a bold theoretical attempt to make the problem of qualia more tractable.

    • Hardcover $39.75