Thursday, November 9

"Snow Crash" comes true, again

First author Neal Stephenson's depiction of a virtual reality metaverse in his novel "Snow Crash" has already come true, in a pointedly self-concious fashion, in the virtual 3D world of Second Life.

Now scientists have found evidence that backs up Snow Crash's description of speaking in tongues, aka glossolalia, as a neurolinguistic phenomenon that short-circuits the brian's normal language centers.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania took brain images of five women while they spoke in tongues and found that their frontal lobes — the thinking, willful part of the brain through which people control what they do — were relatively quiet, as were the language centers. The regions involved in maintaining self-consciousness were active. The women were not in blind trances, and it was unclear which region was driving the behavior.

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