Speech and Auditory Memory: How Deep is Their Connection?
Mortimer Mishkin, PhD, Bethesda, MD, USA
This talk revolves around two seemingly unrelated findings. The first is the momentous discovery of the FOXP2 gene, essential for oromotor articulation, an ability that likely evolved within the hominid line in just the last 300,000 years. The second finding, less momentous but more puzzling, is that, unlike humans, monkeys seem unable to store long-term memories in audition, even though they are easily able to do so in vision and touch. Together, these two pieces of evidence suggest that speech and long-term auditory memory may be indissolubly linked. An initial test provides this suggestion with some preliminary support.
Mortimer Mishkin received an AB from Dartmouth College (1946) and an MA (1949) and PhD (1951) from McGill University (MA with D.O. Hebb; PhD with H.E. Rosvold and K.H. Pribram). In 1955, after completing postdoctoral research with both Pribram at the Institute of Living, Hartford, CT, and H.L. Teuber at Bellevue Medical Center, New York University, he joined Rosvold at NIMH, where, in 1980, he became chief of the Laboratory of Neuropsychology (LN), and, in 1994, associate director for basic research at NIMH. He relinquished both titles in 1997, remaining chief of LN’s Section on Cognitive Neuroscience, acting chief of LN, and visiting professor at University College London Institute of Child Health.