Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy 449th birthday, William Shakespeare

"When he shall die, take him and cut him out into little stars and he shall make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun."


"Shakespeare uses a linguistic technique known as functional shift that involves, for example using a noun to serve as a verb. Researchers found that this technique allows the brain to understand what a word means before it understands the function of the word within a sentence. This process causes a sudden peak in brain activity and forces the brain to work backwards in order to fully understand what Shakespeare is trying to say...Experts believe that this heightened brain activity may be one of the reasons why Shakespeare's plays have such a dramatic impact on their readers.

This interdisciplinary work is good for brain science because it offers permanent scripts of the human mind working moment-to-moment. It is good for literature as it illustrates primary human thinking. Through the two disciplines, we may discover new insights into the very motions of the mind." -Prof. Neil Roberts

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