The origins of emotion and language from the perspective of developmental neuropsychology

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The divided brain evolved to enable focused, detailed attention, in the service ofmanipulation of the environment, to co-exist with broad, open attention, in theservice of understanding the environment, and in particular one’s relationshipwith fellow creatures. This has important consequences for the nature of humanexperience, underwriting a practical “I–It” relationship alongside a more intimate“I-thou” relationship with the world, both being elaborated through language.The musical aspects of language, expressive of its embodied, metaphoricand emotional nature as understood by the right hemisphere, are related to thedeveloping sense in the growing child of a separate self which is nonethelessnever wholly discrete, and the origins of which remain intersubjective, stronglyguided by emotions shared with companions.


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