Book Book

The Symbolic Species: The Co-Evolution of Language and the Human Brain

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7211.715 (Published 11 September 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:715
  1. Patrick Morrison, clinical geneticist
  1. Department of Medical Genetics, Belfast City Hospital

    Terrence Deacon


    Embedded Image

    Penguin Press, £8.99, pp 527

    ISBN 0 14 026405 1

    Rating: Embedded ImageEmbedded ImageEmbedded Image

    Terrence Deacon, fresh from mingling pig and rat brains in his xenotransplantation lab, shows how humans are unique in the use of language and how, through “symbolic reference,” complex networks in the highly developed frontal cortex allow us to think using symbols. This book is in three parts: “Language” focuses on the nature of language and why it is confined to humans, “Brain” shows how the brain produces language, and “Co-evolution” allows a synthesis of conclusions about how both have evolved.

    My 8 year …

    View Full Text

    Sign in

    Log in through your institution

    Free trial

    Register for a free trial to thebmj.com to receive unlimited access to all content on thebmj.com for 14 days.
    Sign up for a free trial

    Subscribe