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PSYA02H3 Lecture Notes - Apgar Score, Mcdonaldland, Motor Cortex

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John Bassili

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Chapter 10 – Language
The Building Blocks of Language
Language can be broken down into elements at several levels
Sentences - “The Players talked to the fans”
Phrases – The Players + talked to the fans
Words – The + Players + talked + to + the + fans
Morphemes – The + Play + er + s + talk + ed + to + the + fan + s
Phonemes – Da + pley + ar +z + tak + t +tuw + da + f + a + n + z
Clump together to create morphemes
Smallest significant units of sound in a language
Column of air from our lungs(containing sound waves) + pressure + energy
P+B phonemes
Bilabial Plosives: Both lips involved in (p + b) + (explosion) producing the phonem + explosion
involved when pressure is held with lips + explosion produces sound
How they differ: At the point where your vocal chords produce voicing for P starts earlier than B
Alveolar Fricatives (s,z): Your tongue is placed on roof of mouth + there is a friction sound that
produces sound difference -> vocal chords vibrate for Z and are vocalized whereas for S it is not
* 40 phonemes in English but we only use 26 to capture sounds (some letters stand for different
phonemes ex. “O” in Hot and Cold)
Smallest unit of sound that denotes meaning in a language
Brought together to produce words
ex. Talked -> Talk + ed or Players -> Play(word) + er (one person) + s (many of them)
Words (lexicon or vocabulary)
Come together to produce phrases
Lexical items are root words in vocabulary (our vocab is made of root words)
Content words – words that have meaning (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs: players, talked, fans)
Function Words – There for making sense (pronouns, articles: the, to)
Syntax or Grammar (phrases and sentences) – Words taught to us
Phrases – The way in which users in a particular language put words together to make sentences
Order of words + grammatical rule -> Not the same in every language
Sentences – Can be analyzed in several levels
Properties of Basic Language
Complex skill that humans excel at
Governed by rules
Language is supposedly unique to humans for our ability to:
Use symbols to communicate
Arrange the symbols in a structured way
Generate an infinite number of combinations of symbols
Contradictions: ex. Collie dog can fetch 200 objects by name + Chimp trained 4 years to recognize 3 words +
Washoe a chimp who learnt sign language
Washoe could combine signs to make up sentences “baby in my drink” “gimme sweet” “time eat” “open
hurry” and could identify objects using sign language
Nim Chimpsky (named after psycholinguistic Noam Chompsky)
Dr. Petitto tries to teach him sign language
They wanted to teach him sign language, send him out into the world and bring him back to see what he
had to say, they failed

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Language: The Brain and Language Disorders
Hemispherical Specialization
Language is mostly localized in the left hemisphere
More the case for men than women (fMRI scan/fundamental magnetic residence imaging xray)
When men engaged in the rhyming tasks, most activity occurred in their left hemispheres
Localizing Language Centres
Wernicke's Area and Broca's Area in Human Speech
Process Example: Woman produces speech, male understands
1st Area of the brain = Wernicke's Area (comprehension, recognizing sequences of sounds and words)
Pathway sent forward to the Broca's area (speech production, person puts together their own thoughts for
Moves to area 3(Motor cortex) that patrols the speech
4th – Comes out for other person to understand
Aphasia – Speech Problems
People can get lesions from brain trauma
Brain damage most often comes from STROKES
2 types of strokes: Embolism/blockage stroke &
Hemorrhage Stroke: blood vessels break from too much pressure
When there is brain damage, you will get a speech impediment of speech known as Aphasia
Non-fluent Aphasia: Difficulty with speech production (ex Wernicke's Aphasia)
Fluent Aphasia: Difficulty understanding speech (ex. Broca's Aphasia)
Broca's Aphasia – Laborious speech Agrammatism (no production or comprehension of complex grammar. No
function words)
Wernicke's Aphasia – (receptive aphasia) Poor comprehension. Produce fluent gibberish. Use function words but
few content words.
Involves disfluencies of speech at the motor end of speech production
Physical tension involved
Causes are unknown
Understanding is fine, but output end process is wrong
Prolonging or repetition of sound
Deviant social development (delayed/ doesn't engage as a baby)
Delayed and unusual language development
Repetitive and ritualistic behaviour
Lifelong condition
Causes not well understood
ABA: Applied behavioural analysis therapy
IBI: Intensive behavioural intervention
Theory that autism was caused by vaccinations (FALSE)
Asperger Syndrome (bill gates)
Poor social skills
Poor at reading non verbal cues
Preoccupation with particular subject of interest
Over sensitivity to textures, sounds, tastes, smells, etc.
Vocabulary can be extremely rich
Normal or above average IQ
Causes unknown/Disability appears to be heredity

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Interprets things literally
Tourette's Syndrome (Michael jay fox)
Neurological disorder
Involuntary and uncontrollable sudden movements or vocalizations (tics)
Onset of TS is usually before 18
Cursing, grunts, groans, odd behaviour
Causes not fully understood, thought that abnormal levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine are involved
Medication can help control symptoms
Therapy helps patient and family cope with social impact
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