• “Language can often seem abstract and transcendent of the body, the world, and even time itself. But language is more closely tied to your body mandala than you may realize, especially where its acquisition during childhood is concerned. If you read the verb “lick,” your tongue area will light up. If you hear someone say “kick,” it activates your leg areas. Christian Keysers, a mirror neuron researcher at the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, says that mirror neurons may very well be a key precursor to abstract thought and language. For example, he explains, you use the word “break” as a verb as in “I see you break the peanut, I hear you break the peanut, and I break the peanut.” The constant is the mental simulation of breaking even though the context varies in each case. So your body is the foundational source of meaning—not just of words and actions but even the meanings of things you learn about through your eyes, ears, and bodily experience.”

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