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You are here: Home / News & Events / Jamie Reilly (Temple University) - The Psycho- and Neurolinguistics of Cursing in American English

Jamie Reilly (Temple University) - The Psycho- and Neurolinguistics of Cursing in American English

When Jan 31, 2020
from 09:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Where Moore 127
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The Psycho- and Neurolinguistics of Cursing in American English

Cursing represents a powerful subset of natural language. Large individual differences exist in the propensity to curse, and pragmatic rules that govern cursing are largely unwritten. Many neurological disorders (e.g., aphasia, Tourette syndrome, traumatic brain injury) are characterized by excessive and/ or uncontrolled cursing. Yet, we have only a very limited understanding of how taboo words are represented in the human brain, and why cursing behaviors emerge in the context of focal brain pathologies. In this talk, I will cover recent research from our laboratory examining the psycholinguistics of cursing in American English. We will first discuss unique properties of cursing, followed by two experiments examining the structure of individual taboo words and the implicit rules that govern curse compounding (e.g., ass + hat = asshat). In a third experiment, I will present the results of a noninvasive brain stimulation experiment where we administered cathodal electrical stimulation to inhibit the right frontal lobe while neurotypical adults cursed. This experiment will lay the groundwork for a novel treatment approach aimed at reducing uncontrolled cursing in aphasia and traumatic brain injury.