This introductory chapter begins with a brief description of the aim of this book, which is to present a study of the neural basis of communication that emphasizes behavioral analysis rather than linguistic or cognitive processes. The book proposes that during the course of evolution, human communication has become intrinsically bound to the various motor programming systems that control the relevant musculature. The characteristics of such motor programming systems are presumed to have been determined by a variety of constraints, only one of which is the system used for communication. Thus, the presumption is that communication systems have been shaped in part by the characteristics of certain motor systems. Communication in early hominids, methods of studying the neurology of language, and a study of patients with unilateral cerebral pathology are discussed.
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