For some time now, there has been an hypothesis floating around in evolutionary biology that the human capacity for language emerged, in part, from the development of our ability to throw long distances with high speed and accuracy. There are a few reasons to think this, mostly correlational, inferential kinds of reasons, but they are accumulating.
We were chatting one day about how to test this hypothesis a bit more directly, and we came up with a whacky experiment. We'd like advice from neuroscientists with experience in brain stimulation techniques about whether this sort of thing is feasible. We'd also like to brainstorm the logic of this experiment and see if we can come up with a practical design that stands a chance of finding something. We then need collaborators; I can handle the throwing side (analysis, measurement, etc) but we don't know anything about TMS and would need
an expert on board.
There are many other reasons why this might fail, though - I still need to do a detailed lit review on the throwing/language references I have. Our main problem is that we don't know the kind of obvious difficulties in doing TMS in this kind of context. We'd like to assemble a) an experiment and b) a
research team to do the experiment if we can get it to make sense, and
if it works we will submit the hell out of this to Nature :)
John Nash has left the building
2 days ago