Nearly everybody can communicate, and most do so through some form of language, and yet the question of where language came from is one of the most difficult questions in science. Psychologist and author, Michael Corballis explores the many theories of language’s origins, including his own, and details how language and communication have continued to evolve, from primates’ use of gestures, to the advent of communicative technologies. Michael Corballis, emeritus professor at the Department of Psychology at The University of Auckland is one of the foremost global experts on the evolution of human language.
The son of a sheep farmer from Marton, Michael’s long and decorated academic career has seen his studies of the brain and what it is to be human earn him New Zealand’s top science prize, The Rutherford Medal.
He has worked with patients who have had two-sides of their brains disconnected to relieve epilepsy which led him to look deeper into studying the two brain hemispheres. His most recent book The Truth About Language explores the idea that language evolved from manual gestures. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.