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How the Mind Makes Meaning lecture at Caltech Sunday (Live webcast)

Louder Than Words: The New Science of How the Mind Makes Meaning

Dr. Benjamin Bergen, cognitive psychologist, UC San Diego
Sunday, February 10, 2013
2 pm Pacific (5 pm Eastern)
Baxter Lecture Hall
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

Benjamin-Bergen-by-Keegan-Uhl

In this lecture, based on his book Louder Than Words, U.C. San Diego cognitive psychologist Benjamin K. Bergen draws together research in psychology, linguistics, and neuroscience to offer a new theory of how our minds make meaning. When we hear words and sentences, we engage the parts of our brain that we use for perception and action—repurposing evolutionarily older networks—to create mental simulations. Embodied simulation, as it’s called, is the reason why it takes time to travel over distance, even in our mind’s eye; why it’s possible for us to become better baseball players by imagining a well-executed swing; and why it’s so hard to talk on cell phones while we’re driving on the highway. Rather than merely calling up abstract ideas to understand language, as others previously argued, our brains engage in a creative act to construct rich mental worlds in which we see, hear, and feel.

Event Sponsors: The Skeptics Society
This Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture at Caltech will be webcast live on the Livestream Skeptic Live Channel.
The live stream will also be available on the Skeptics Society upcoming lectures web page.

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