Document (#25620)

Author
Tattersall, I.
Title
Wie der Mensch das Denken lernte : Evolution des Geistes
Source
Spektrum der Wissenschaft. 2002, H.4, S.56-63
Year
2002
Abstract
Mehr als 100.000 Jahre lang verfügten Frühmenschen offenbar über ein anatomisch modernes Gehirn, ohne es richtig zu nutzen. Erst der eher zufällige Erwerb von Sprache und damit der Fähigkeit zum abstrakten, symbolischen Denken entfaltete schlagartig die überragenden geistigen Fähigkeiten, die uns vom Rest der Tierwelt abheben
Footnote
Vgl. auch den Leserbrief von U.I. Figge u.d.T.: "Ausdruck von Instinkten" in: Spektrum der Wissenschaft 2002, H.6: "Tattersalls These, dass "die Tür zum symbolischen Denken" durch "die Erfindung der Sprache" aufgestoßen wurde, setzt die Erklärung eines anderen, durchaus ungewöhnlichen Befunds voraus. Lautäußerungen von Säugetieren sind fast immer Ausdruck von "Instinkten" oder von Emotionen, nicht aber von Kognitionen. Mögliche Ausnahmen bei nicht-menschlichen Säugetierarten, wie etwa die nach Klassen von Feinden differenzierten Warnschreie der Grünen Meerkatze, sind von äußerst geringer Zahl. Der Befund, dass die Lautäußerungen des Menschen mit seiner Kognition in Beziehung stehen, ist also alles andere als selbstverständlich. Insofern hängt Tattersalls These in der Luft. Für den Menschen ist es zwar auch charakteristisch, dass er über ein relativ "breites Spektrum an Lauten und Tönen verfügt". Was ihn jedoch vor allen anderen Säugetieren auszeichnet, ist seine Fähigkeit, rasche rhythmische Folgen verschiedenartiger konsonantischer Schließ- und vokalischer Öffnungsbewegungen zu vollziehen. Dass Störungen des motorischen Sprachzentrums gerade diese Fähigkeit beeinträchtigen, weiß jeder Schlaganfallpatient mit entsprechenden Läsionen. So wichtig die Anatomie des Mund-Rachen-Raums sein mag, wichtiger für Erörterungen über die Sprachgenese sind neuroanatomische und neurophysiologische Befunde. 1960 hat der Sprachwissenschaftler Charles F. Hockett in "Scientific American" einen einflussreichen Artikel veröffentlicht, aus dem immer wieder die Lehre gezogen wurde, dass es eine Erfindung der Sprache nicht gibt, dass es vielmehr die Evolution einzelner "Konstruktionsmerkmale" der Sprache zu untersuchen gilt. Tattersall gehört zu den vielen Sprachursprungsforschern, die diese Forderung nicht mehr erreicht hat."
Field
Kognitionswissenschaft

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