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5. Integrating: Hacks 53–61 > 61. Talk to Yourself

Talk to Yourself

Language isn’t just for talking to other people; it may play a vital role in helping your brain combine information from different modules.

Language might be an astoundingly efficient way of getting information into your head from the outside [Speech Is Broadband Input to Your Head], but that’s not its only job. It also helps you think. Far from being a sign of madness, talking to yourself is something at the essence of being human.

Rather than dwell on the evolution of language and its role in rewiring the brain into its modern form, 1 let’s look at one way language may be used by our brains to do cognitive work. Specifically we’re talking about the ability of language to combine information in ordered structures—in a word: syntax.


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