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Language: The Brain & Language Disorders

Course Code
John Bassili

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LEC04 [Chapter 10]Language: The Brain & Language
The Role of the Brain in Speech
Hemispheric specialization
oRhyming task: Language is mostly localized in the left hemisphere. More for
men than woman (fMRI scan)
FMRI functional magnetic residence imaging, sophistic x-ray, but doesnt just see
bones, calsified tissue, but also sees soft tissue, tendons, muscles, cartiliage
oSees what happens when we think speak etc, what parts of the brain is active
oWhen we use areas of our brain, thinking, speaking, etc, active areas, there is
a deplection of oxygen in the blood to keep it fuction. Oxygenated blood is
needed to fuction, brain has a way to tell cardiovascular system to send blood
to that area of the brain. Systems sends more blooded than needed to the
area. Statisitical procedure, output says (FMRI) can tell that there is more
oxygenated blood in that area when it is active. Its a comparision from when
the brain is engaged in task, and when its not.
oResponse is called BOLD (Blood oxygenated levels dependence) what the
FMRI relies on
oNot only imaging technology ,
oPET (positron emition tomography) injecting isotopes as traces in the body
and a scanner that scans where the blood is going
oEach have their own strengths and weaknesses
oFmri methodiology of choice, spaceial resolution (precise picture) not good
with temperal resolution, seeing the time that it takes for things to travel and
show up.
oPET is good at temperal resolution than FMRI
oEEG is cheaper technology is very quick with temperal resolution
Localizing Language Centres
Language is localized on the left side of the brain
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Process of hearing and understanding language:
oDesounds, signals, that are said for interpretation is known as Wernickes
area, in this area, it recognizes the sequences of sounds, meaning of the
sound, and does a fair bit of interpretation of the meanings of all the
phonemes that are streaming in.
oInformation that is extracted from the werknickes area is sent to brocasI
area, in this area, the plan to produce speech is made. To make a response.
Puts together their own thoughts for speech production. Those plans and
programs are sent to goes to Motor cortex to create phonemes to reply.
o3 areas involved in understanding, producing language, producting speech.
Broca: laborious speech (no production or comprehension of complex grammar,. No
function words)
Wernickes area: (receptive aphasia) poor comprehension. Produce fluent gibberish.
Use function words but few content words.
Problems of speech
People can get lesions (leee-shons) in their brain; brain damage from accidents.
Brain damage, localized lesions come from strokes
2 types of strokes:
oembelism, blockage of blood supply to an area of the brain, that area of the
brain dies from being not oxygenated, brain, neurons need oxygen to survive
ohemerage, blood vessel bursts. Too much pressure in that area can kill
neurons in that area of the brain
depending on where damage happens (critical), there will be different effects,
difficulty in walking, speaking.. etc
stroke is one important cause of brain damage
when there is brain damage. In particular areas of the brain. Focusing on Wernickes
area & Brocas areas you will get an impediment of speech known as aphasia. Prob of
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