Language Processing

language-processingDespite the wealth of research in and various approaches to the relationship between the brain and language, there is not a comprehensive and unified theoretical framework to analyze how the brain performs the mental processes used to produce and understand language. BSF seeks to develop such a theoretical framework by fostering an interaction between the various scientific disciplines and methodologies that focus on such investigations.

As language is a direct representation of our thoughts, speech and text are a direct access point to the psyche and mood states. Language as behavioral output provides us with valuable insights into brain processes and psychological states, where language is a trigger of emotion and emotion is a catalyst for language. Language is also a valuable resource for identifying patterns and biomarkers of brain dysfunction such as in the case of dementia symptomatology of cognitive decline.

Language is also a manifestation of complex systems of thought such as figurative metaphors: how does the human brain understand conceptual metaphors? So far, this is an unanswered phenomena yet to be replicated by artificial intelligence. Understanding conceptual metaphors such as “my lawyer is a shark” is an impossible task for a machine to decipher yet it is innate for a healthy human brain. How does the brain code conceptual metaphors versus literal analogies and how is it able to detect the difference? Rooted in cultural contexts, metaphors are a phenomenon of natural language processing not yet understood by neuroscientists, psychologists, and linguists.

BSF’s dimensions of language research are manifold as both our basic and applied mind/brain/language researches aim to understand not only the neurocognitive mechanisms of language, but also how language can be utilized to gain greater insights into the mental processes of both healthy individuals and those with brain dysfunction.