Advance #1--A team lead by Drs. Yarlagadda and Vesalius has successfully replaced the cortical neurons in the third frontal gyrus, left hemisphere (i.e., "Broca's area"), with an identical network composed of insulated copper wiring. Dr. Yarlagadda explains, "One of the problems with human nerve impulse transmission is that it is so slow, due to its electrochemical nature. By replacing the bioneurons with metal ones, we were able to decrease processing time dramatically." The patient--a volunteer with no prior language deficiency--now speaks at a rate ten times faster than before. Unfortunately, this is faster than anyone, including the patient, can understand. Dr. Vesalius comments, "I suppose next we'll have to improve someone's Wernicke area. Then, the second patient will be able to understand and translate for the first."
Advance #2--A team lead by Drs. Lugosi and Karloff has successfully exchanged the left hemispheres of several pairs of patients. In Case #1, a transfer involved a patient with conduction aphasia and a patient with no prior speech disability. The doctors are happy to report that the first patient is now cured, while the second has conduction aphasia.
In case #2, the patients involved were a monolingual French speaker and a trilingual Dutch, Russian, and Mixtec speaker. After the operation, the first patient was fluent in Dutch and Mixtec, while the second spoke French and Russian. The doctors theorize that the results indicated that Russian is located in the right hemisphere, a hypothesis they intend to test in the future by excising the French and Russian speaker's right hemisphere.
In Case #3, the patients were an English speaker named Curly Howard and a gorilla. After the operation, Mr. Howard tended to speak only in grunts and snarls and also displayed a marked craving for bananas. The gorilla now spoke English pretty well, except that he tended to say "Nyuk nyuk nyuk" a lot. The gorilla also seems to have suffered a decrease in general intelligence.
Advance #3--A patient with severe aggressive psychosis communicated only by shouting obscene insults and threats. A team led by Dr. Cohen replaced his brain with a Macintosh computer. The patient is now much more user-friendly, but tends to beep a lot.
Final note: the Center's research has slowed almost to a halt recently due to a lack of volunteers. Readers of Speculative Grammarian are urged to make themselves available to help advancement in neurolinguistics. Each volunteer will earn $50 for his troubles.