Writing and Reading: The Evolution of Social Media

Session Date: 
Oct 12, 2018

Language co-evolved with the human brain throughout the evolution of Homo sapiens. Writing, on the other hand, is a relatively new technology that was invented by humans to translate spoken language into a visual form for transmitting verbal communication broadly to many people over large distances and time. As such, writing and reading can be considered the first 'social media' technology. Written language co-opted the brain substrates that evolved for spoken language. While language develops naturally in most humans based on exposure rather than explicit instruction, reading and writing require painstaking instruction and years of practice to reach proficiency. This talk will trace the history of the invention of writing, explain how English ended up with such a cockeyed spelling system, which leads in many cases to Dyslexia, and speculate as to how newer technologies may impact reading and writing and the many brain functions that have been enhanced by it.

File 2018_10_12_07_Tallal-Web.mp4127.89 MB