From: Paula <>
Date: Mon Jan 05 2009 - 18:00:41 EST

Paul asked:
> Are you sure this is really recent?
> I remember being told about it by my mother when I was a child, and she
> would have known it on the basis of her medical school traiing in the 40s
> and 50s.

I'm no expert, but according to Steven Brown and Lawrence M. Parsons ('The
Neuroscience of Dance', Scientific American, July 2008) '... dance is the
quintessential gesture language. It is interesting to note that during all
the movement tasks in our study, we saw activation in a region of the right
hemisphere corresponding to what is known as Broca's area in the left
hemisphere. Broca's area is a part of the frontal lobe classically
associated with speech production. In the past decade research has revealed
that Broca's area also contains a representation of the hands'.

Here is a review of recent books on the brain I came across just today - the
author writes that 'From the ancients to the 20th century, it was
philosophers who speculated about how the mind and brain might work. Now it
is neuroscientists who are displacing the philosophers and theologians and
telling us how we must behave.' It is interesting that the alternative view
is given not by a Marxist but by a... Cartesian Jesuit.

Review at

The author is quite right in his conclusion that 'The concept of a universal
sense of morality thus lacks any explanatory purchase on the way that we
behave in any particular circumstances .... the biological is not the right
level at which to seek to explain many crucial aspects of how and why we do
what we do.' Here it seems to me that political economy does have something
important to say, but it's not being heard.


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Received on Mon Jan 5 18:05:29 2009

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