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15

This is a hot topic of debate, so my answer will be an incomplete one. There are actually two separate questions here. One is on language and the other one is on environment. Language: My answer is no; different languages do not limit the conceptual repository of human mind. The current ongoing debate is partially on the Pirahã language. Everett studied ...


8

Yes, there's been scientific tests. No, they did not support the propositions. However, some supporters of the propositions argue that existing empirical tests have methodological problems. There's a discussion of scientific evaluation for NLP on wikipedia that cites several review articles. Quoting the Heap (1988) review as quoted in Wikipedia: ...


7

One thing that comes to mind is the discussion over why English-speaking people think submarines cannot swim, while they think airplanes can fly. Supposedly in Russian, though, they do refer to submarines as "swimming." Meanwhile, we ask whether computers can think, without really realizing that this question turns out to be simply a question about ...


6

To use "mirror neurons" explain why people enjoy watching porn is problematic when you consider that people (a least men, Cerny and Janssen, 2011) seem to enjoy watching porn where the actors are solely of the opposite sex. That is, people seem to be enjoying watching porn (or even looking at erotic pictures) when there is nothing really to mirror. As the ...


6

I think it is likely the case. I agree that the idea of a "mirror neuron" is a bit dubious, as it implies that the function of those neurons are related to mirroring. It's probably the case that they represent the actual movement, and their activation in witnessing the action is tangential to that. As for your question, research was done on this exact ...


6

Taking @BenCole's suggestion on the bolded parts... how the human mind creates and perpetuates the idea of knowing something I think the philosophic response to this is "What does it mean to know something?". I'd recommend Searle's Chinese Room argument [1] and the many rebuttals to it (which include some computational explanations of understanding) to ...


4

If you don't need the mind readers to actually know the exact "words" of the person's thoughts, you could have people who are extremely well versed in "reading" another person's facial expressions, body posture, tone of voice etc. It is a fact that those outward behaviors reflect your internal state, and in fact we all read these signs with more or less ...


3

I'm not sure what you mean by cognitive capacity, but I absolutely believe that language shapes the way we think. The collective nouns, verbs, and phrases of a language are the categories by which a culture interprets things. Consider seizures. Our culture may call them seizures, and a doctor might posit that their cause is epilepsy (or something). That's ...


1

As @what wrote, the state of our knowledge on Mind reading is low but it is an on-going research. The current research uses EEG and MRI techniques to retro-engineer (read and decipher) our thoughts and actions: see the Introduction To Modern Brain-Computer Interface Design linked to the EEGLAB software, or the Brain computer interface wikipedia page ...


1

My idea was similar to what "what" said; however, instead of the reader needing to be trained to the thoughts of other people and/or having to clone humans with these genes, the OP could have it to where the post-apocalyptic world in which the book is set in features humans that have evolved into what they are now, with having these receptors in their skin ...



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