Talking Heads : The Neuroscience of Language book cover
1st Edition

Talking Heads
The Neuroscience of Language

ISBN 9781848720398
Published October 17, 2011 by Psychology Press
264 Pages 43 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The origin, development, and nature of language has been the focus of theoretical debate among philosophers for many centuries. Following the pioneering clinical observations 150 years ago of loss of language following a cerebral lesion, language started to be considered a biological system, that could be investigated scientifically. As a consequence, an increasing number of scientists began to search for its anatomical and functional basis and its links with other such cognitive systems. The relatively recent introduction of neuroimaging tools, such as PET and fMRI, has brought rapid and groundbreaking developments to the field of Neurolinguistics.

In this book, Denes harnesses these advances to adopt a biolinguistic approach to the study of a subject that increasingly sees the collaboration of linguists, experimental psychologists, neuroscientists and clinicians. Talking Heads reviews the latest research  to provide a concise analysis of the multifaceted aspects of language which focuses both on theoretical aspects and physical implementation.

Following an up-to-date description of acquired language disorders, and their contribution to the design of a functional architecture of language, the book illustrates the neurological process involved in the production and comprehension of spoken and written language, as well as investigating the neurological and functional systems responsible for sign language production and first and second language acquisition.

With a glossary of the anatomical and linguistic terms, this book provides an invaluable resource to undergraduate and graduate students of psychology, psycholinguistics and linguistics.

Table of Contents

1. Defining Language. 2. Origin and Evolution of Language and Speech. 3. The Anatomy of Language. 4. Aphasia. 5. The Sounds of Language: Production and Comprehension of Words. 6. Neurological and Functional Architecture of the Lexicon. 7. The Trains of Language: Syntax and Morphology. 8. Neurological Basis and Functional Architecture of Written Language. 9. The neurological bases and functional architecture of bilingualism. 10. Talking Hands. 11. Language Acquisition and Developmental Disorders. Appendix I. Appendix II.

View More



Gianfranco Denes teaches Neurolinguistics and Neuropsychology at the Universities of Padua and Venice, Italy. His research field spans many aspects of Neuropsychology, focusing on Aphasia and acquired language impairments.


"[The] broad scope and up-to date analysis of the literature makes this book an enticing read. ... I thoroughly recommend [Talking Heads] to a range of readers, including speech and language therapists who want to keep up to date with current work on neurolinguistics, students of psychology and linguistics who are looking for a comprehensive overview of neurolinguistics, and indeed all those fascinated by language." - Chloe Marshall, Institute of Education, UK, in the International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders

"[Talking Heads: The Neuroscience of Language] provides a wealth of information about language and its relation to brain structure and function" - David S. Kreiner, University of Central Missouri, USA, in PsycCRITIQUES

"In this admirably concise yet comprehensive book, Denes brings together all of the major issues concerning the representation of language in the human brain, using evidence from neurology, neuroimaging, studies of brain-damaged people and linguistic theory. This is a valuable introduction, that will encourage students from a wide range of disciplines to explore these issues." - David Howard, Research Professor, Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences, Newcastle University, UK