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Chapter 14

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PSYC 2240
Neil Weiner

Chapter 14 Split hemispheres: competition -Hemispheres act as two seperate people, can conflict with eachother. The left hemisphere usually supresses right hemisphere for some actions. - Sometimes the hemispheres cooperate. Right Hemisphere - Left brain damage = can interpret emotions on peoples' face better, left hemisphere interferes with right hemisphere in interpreting emotions. - Right brain damage = monotone voice, don't understand emotional expressions, sarcasm or humor. -Better at understanding spacial relationships. Left hemisphere focuses on details, right on overall patterns. Development of lateralization: Anatomical differences: - Brain attends to language sounds, different vowel sounds can be noticed by premature infants. - Planum Temporale in temporal cortex, larger in left hemisphere for 65% of people. Maturation of Corpus Callosum: Corpus callosum thickens and grows as myelin increases. Discards many axons. - Two neurons connected by corpus callosum need to have corresponding functions, genes can't specify where to attach, therefore they make more connections than needed during development and prune them out. - Young children resemble split brain people because of immature corpus callosum. - Born without corpus callosum- similar to split brain, preform poorly on tasks that need use of both hands. But- unlike split brain can verbally describe objects seen in both visual fields - Anterior commissure- connects anterior parts of cortex and hippocampal commissure allow some crossing of information. Language: - Productivity- ability to improvise new combinations of sounds and ideas nonhuman language: - chimps press keys to type message, don't really understand what they're saying. Don't use new combinations (low productivity), only ask for things, never describe. Bonobos: -Resemble humans, Kanzi understood spoken language- understand more than they can produce, use symbols, request items they don't see, use symbols to describe past events, make new requests. Nonprimates: Alex the parrot- could understand and speak, describe objects and descriminate between objects. How did humans evolve language: 1. evolved as a biproduct of overall brain development OR 2. evolved as specialization. Biproduct of intelligence: -If it's due to brain size and development, everyone with normal brain should be able to speak, not true. - Family with a dominant gene that won't let them speak properly, pronounciation, grammar. Williams Syndrome: Deletion on chromosome 7, low IQ, poor with visuospatial perception. Musical ability, friendliness high. Fusiform gyrus twice as large, rest of grey matter small. Language problems, awkward grammar. Language as a specialization: Language aquisition device: built in mechanism for aquiring language. Most children develop language quickly and easily, deaf children develop sign language, even if nobody teaches them official signs. -FOXP2 gene- mutation= poor language, grammar mistakes. Chimps have them too, affects brain development and jaw structure. Sensitive period: - People learn second language best if they start younger, if you start after age 12 you'll never reach level of native speaker. - Bilingual home = bilateral activation of speech for both languages, frontal cortex thicker. - If you learn sign language first, can learn english later. If you learn no language (even sign), you can't learn after. Brain damage and language: Broca's aphasia: - Aphasia= language impairement, brocaès area on left temporal lobe. - Comprehension deficits when sentences are complicated. - Can't speak, write, gesture or sign language. - Omit pronouns, other grammatical things. Can't learn net phrases. -Trouble understanding same kinds of words that they omit when speaking, misunderstand complex sentences. -Comprehension resembles someone that's distracted, like you're listening to someone with thick accent. Rely on infrences. Wernicke's aphasia: -Can write and speak, language comprehension is poor. -Wernicke's area in auditory cortex, can't remember names of objects. - Also known as fluent aphasia, because you can speak fluently. Features: a
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