Saturday, March 27, 2010

Neurobiology, Language and Culture: Help DuWayne Again

I am moving right along with my exploration of cognitive function, language and culture. I am really enjoying my quest into human consciousness, social development and their intersect with language. Honestly, I spend a lot of time wavering between reading (and listening to audiobooks) about human cognition, evolution, language and culture - and sitting in a daze, trying to pick apart tendrils of thoughts and ideas. It often reminds me very much of being really stoned, without the accompanying debilitation. Indeed, due to the stimulant therapy and the Welbutrin, I am actually able to pick at the minutiae and consider it in and out of context - assessing the implications.

Given another year or so, I should be able to develop a reasonable hypothesis. That is, a hypothesis that will drive the research I conduct early in my career. I have developed some interesting questions that I really hope will lead me to that question that will take up much of my time in a few years. That is the investigation into the questions, not the answers. While it is theoretically possible to answer these questions, doing so would be exceedingly difficult - if not impossible, given the tools we have to work with right now. And that assumes the questions themselves are correct.

One of the big questions - or series of questions I am rather keen on right now, is the correlation between language and culture, language and cognition and culture and cognition. I have been spending much of my spare time, such as it is, exploring the co-evolution of language and the brain. I have also read some interesting stuff about the early evolution of culture. And studying psychology and linguistics, I note correlations of culture, psychology, psychopathology and language on a regular basis. The exact nature of these correlations are the most fascinating questions I have ever had. There are not many questions I have found more pleasure in exploring.

At the moment I am exploring the evolution of language and the evolution of culture for one of my papers. I am also working on a paper that explores the impact of language and culture on the expression and treatment of mood disorders.

So here is the help that I need. I have most of the source material I need, but at least one of my sources for both papers needs to be an interaction with another person. Because of the nature of what I am writing about, I am really hoping to find some folks who have some background in some aspect or another, of the topics I am writing about. I am especially interested in talking to someone with experience in cross cultural mental health services. I do actually have some people I could potentially harass for the first paper (though I would love to meet new people), I am mostly looking for someone to talk to about the second.

When I am done with my papers and they have been graded, I will go ahead and post them. I have one that I should be able to post sometime this next week. These two papers however, aren't due for another four weeks, so I doubt I am going to be able to post them for at least that long.

1 comment:

Donna B. said...

Just curious, but have you considered looking into the deaf community? (I dunno if that's the current PC terminology, if not - I apologize for my ignorance.)

Anyway, those deaf from birth or early childhood acquire language very differently and there seems to be a culture associated with it.

It would be interesting to know similarities/differences of this small group inside the larger cultures they inhabit.