Literature and the Brain (ENGLISH 118, ENGLISH 218, FRENCH 318, PSYCH 118F)
Recent developments in and neuroscience and experimental psychology have transformed the way we think about the operations of the brain. What can we learn from this about the nature and function of literary texts? Can innovative ways of speaking affect ways of thinking? Do creative metaphors draw on embodied cognition? Can fictions strengthen our "theory of mind" capabilities? What role does mental imagery play in the appreciation of descriptions? Does (weak) modularity help explain the mechanism and purpose of self-reflexivity? Can the distinctions among types of memory shed light on what narrative works have to offer?