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Feb 22, 2007

Brain Science #6 discusses the book The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, and Intelligence Evolved From Our Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans, by Stanley I Greenspan, MD and Stuart G. Shanker, D. PHIL.

The basic premise of this book is that emotions are intimately related to the development of language and intelligence. The authors propose that through interaction with their caregivers humans and non-human primates learn emotional signaling and that as this signaling becomes more complex the brain is prepared for the emergence of symbols and language.

In this podcast we discuss some of the evidence supporting their hypothesis, as well as the implications of this theory to theories of language development and human evolution, especially the evolution of language and intelligence.

For more information go to my website at or send your comments to gincampbell at mac dot com.

This podcast is released under a Creative Commons 2.5 attribution, no derivatives license.