I testet some syntax and dependencie parsers the other day and was looking for an easy way to produce humanreadable output, i.e. graphics. I found this very interesting link to a software producing graphviz dot-files (your need to have graphviz installed!) from Stanford Parser trees. I worked only a little on the program to make it work on other parsers such as the connexor parser. Continue reading
The little difference in our genes compared to primates, especially apes, seem to make the big difference. You could ask, why can humans talk while hominids can’t (well, some can say a few words or sign, but theyare not much of a storyteller).
This month the article Dennis et al., Evolution of Human-Specific Neural SRGAP2 Genes by Incomplete Segmental Duplication, Cell (2012), doi:10.1016/j.cell.2012.03.033 was published. It states, that during our evolution one gene was (incompetely) duplicated. Actually, this happend twice. Once around the time when the genus homo and the hominids split and then again when homo and Australopithecus split.
Experiments with mice showed that the mutated and duplicated genes eventually lead to a different, more human-like brain structure. It implies, that these duplicated genes slow down the development of special parts of the brain and there by enable the part of the brain that is responsible not only for our ability to talk to to develop further. It‘ seems that one of the reasons that humankind was able to produce language, lays in this mutation of the SRGAP2 genes.