Tag Archives: semantic dementia

The Puzzle of Language

There was an unspoken script in a young girl’s life growing up in a cultured family in Brescia, Italy in the 1970s that she would go on to a university to study the humanities. But this young girl had no interest in the arts or classics – she did poorly in Latin and Greek – and she had her sites set for medicine. Her mom grew up in a transitional generation in the early 1960s but observed feminism through a telescope. She knew she wanted something different for her only daughter, but she was still trapped in the tradition that etched out life for an Italian girl. Read more

A World Without Meaning

Winning the 2011 Society for Neuroscience Brain Awareness Video Contest this year is a heart-wrenching animated poem told with the voice of a 10-year old boy whose grandfather has suffered a stroke and developed aphasia, a language impairment. It’s called The Treasure Hunt and it does a wonderful job of humanizing and explaining the condition. Language is such a central part of our minds that it’s very difficult for most of us to imagine a world in which our capacity to talk and express ourselves using speech is stripped away. Read more