When You Say Go Jump Off a Cliff, I Feel It

Benjamin K. Bergen Explains the Astonishing Workings of Language in Homo Sapiens

Squaring Off with Benjamin K. Bergen

In Squaring Off, Zócalo invites authors into the public square to answer five questions about the essence of their books. For this round, we pose questions to UC San Diego cognitive scientist Benjamin K. Bergen, author of Louder Than Words: The New Science of How the Mind Makes Meaning.

Bergen blends psychology, linguistics, and neuroscience to put forth a new theory of how the brain understands words and sentences. He argues that people understand language by creating experiences in their minds—“embodied simulations”—that mirror interactions in the physical and social worlds.

More In: Squaring Off