Racial Differences in Brain Activity

Archive for the ‘written speech’ tag

Mental Processes And Race

without comments

Obviously, the disturbance in the phonemic hearing faculty prevents the patient from reading or writing, and not the affliction of the visual function. This explains why these lesions do not affect the written speech of a Chinese patient. The Chinese system of writing is hieroglyphic, and is not directly related to phonemic hearing. A Chinese patient can write and understand a written text, but he is unable to read it aloud. If the same patient is a speaker of some European language, he becomes unable to read or write in that language.

Conversely, a European patient, who was a fluent speaker of Chinese, can no longer read or write in his own language, but can still understand the Chinese characters.

Japanese writing combines hieroglyphs and phonemic mode of speech, and this explains why the written speech of a Japanese patient is affected by similar brain lesions to a lesser extent than that of Europeans.

The perception of hieroglyphs is connected with the functioning of the parietooccipital sections of the brain. An injury to these parts of the brain usually atlects eyesight. Patients can see a drawing with their eyes, but do not identify it. Looking at a portrait, a patient finds the nose, mouth, eyes, but cannot put these details together. The drawing as a whole “remains unclear and he is not sure whether it is a picture of a man. If the man in the picture has a moustache, the patient may come to the conclusion that it is a cat.

It is not surprising that such patients are completely unable to understand hieroglyphic writing. If the recognition of letters, which are symbols of a less complex pattern, has been retained, the patient is still able to read and write in other languages. This has, of course, no connection with nationality or race: the Chinese patients who were speakers of European languages can still read and write in them, while the Europeans who could read hieroglyphs can no longer do so.

The peculiarities of the mental processes are not, therefore, connected with a person’s race, but depend solely on upbringing and education, that is on the formation of a complex system of conditioned-reflex connections.

Written by brainer

January 7th, 2010 at 1:00 pm