Fri. Aug 12th, 2022

    What part of the Brain Controls Language and Speech?

    To be gifted with language is to be able to both understand and respond to someone. In other words, the faculty of language covers comprehension and utterance. For spoken language, you have to be able on the one hand to pass from sound to meaning, and on the other hand, then, from the words thought to the words spoken, from the thought to the voice. These processes obviously depend on learning, society and culture, but they also have cerebral underpinnings part of the brain controls language and speech:

    Cerebrum (big brain)

    Each hemisphere of the cerebrum can also be divided into regions called lobes, which include the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes.

    The lobes located in the front and side of your brain, the frontal lobes and the temporal lobes, are primarily involved in speech formation and understanding. The cerebral cortex is responsible for integrating sensory impulses, directing motor activity, and controlling higher intellectual functions.

    Broca’s area: source of speech production

    In 1861, the French surgeon Paul Broca (1824 – 1880) opened the head of one of his patients, who had just died. During his lifetime, he suffered from speech disorders: although he understood perfectly what was said to him, he could only answer with one and the same syllable, “tan”, and that even though he did not did not have any motor disorder of the tongue or mouth that may have impeded his speech abilities.

    How to explain this aphasia? By examining his brain, Broca discovers a localized lesion at the level of the third left cerebral convolution. He deduces that this area plays a precise role in the formation of spoken language, going so far as to assert that “we speak with the left hemisphere”. Broca’s area was the first region of the brain that science could associate with cognitive function.

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    This discovery marks the beginning of the identification of areas of the brain related to different facets of human language. Patients suffering from aphasia have enabled anatomists and then neuropsychologists to refine their knowledge of cerebral language supports, the study of different cases making it possible to identify different cerebral “areas” endowed with specific functions.

    Wernicke’s area: source of language understanding

    Some ten years after Broca, a German psychiatrist named Carl Wernicke (1848 – 1905) revealed another type of aphasia associated with lesions located in other regions of the brain, in the posterior part of the left temporal lobe. While Broca’s patient understood what was being said to him while having difficulty speaking, Wernicke’s patient had apparently normal verbal flow but great difficulty understanding what was said, with a tendency to give speeches. inconsistent or meaningless. It was concluded that the processes of understanding language and those of producing speech did not involve the same areas of the brain. So there was not a single seat of language, but several coordinated centers with different functions.

    Two areas that communicate and work together

    The disorders identified by Broca were actually motor or expressive aphasia, while those studied by Wernicke were receptor or sensory aphasia. We agree that Broca’s area, located at the back of the frontal lobe, near the part of the brain that controls the movements of the tongue and jaw, is in charge of production and articulation. words (“motor” component of language), while Wernicke’s area is involved in the perception of words and symbols of language or in the processing of the spoken words.

    These two regions, linked together by a bundle of nerve fibers – the “arched bundle” – form an essential circuit for the understanding of language and the production of speech.

    Broca and Wernicke work in tandem. The transfer of information between these two regions is provided by a large bundle of nerve fibers: the arcuate bundle. Destruction of the arcuate bundle can lead to conduction aphasia. This type of aphasia is characterized by a large number of paraphasias. It is distinguished from Wernicke’s aphasia in that it is usually not accompanied by impaired comprehension.

    In the 1960s, the neurologist Norman Geschwind proposed a model to account for the organization of language functions in the brain: all the regions concerned would be in charge of a particular “module” (for example understanding, or production of articulated statements) and each would be connected to the others according to very precise circuits.

    For example, in the case of spoken language comprehension, sound is first received as nerve signals by the primary auditory cortex, the data then being transmitted to nearby Wernicke’s area, which would identify the sound signal. by relating the auditory image to the corresponding word, thereby performing a speech recognition task. In this so-called “connectionist” model, the language faculty consists of a series of functional modules corresponding to distinct brain areas.

    The brain being divided into two practically symmetrical hemispheres, each part is found in duplicate, on the right and on the left. We know that we can be right-handed or left-handed when it comes to writing or kickstarting. We know less that this also applies to the localization of language functions. Indeed, although these are predominantly located in the left hemisphere (nearly 95 percent), there are some exceptions in what is called “cerebral lateralization” of language regions.

    Cerebellum

    The cerebellum controls balance, coordinates postural tone and voluntary movements thanks to the information it centralizes on the position of the body in space; whose duration, amplitude and sequence it adjusts according to the information received about the action being performed. Cerrebellum is part of the brain controls language and speech too!

    The cerebellum is located at the back of your brain. The cerebellum is involved in coordinating voluntary muscle movements like opening and closing your mouth, moving your arms and legs, standing upright, and maintaining balance. It also controls language processing.

    A review published in the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology suggests that the cerebellum is actually more important to language processing than previously thought.

    Motor cortex

    The motor cortex refers to all the areas of the cerebral cortex that participate in the planning, control and execution of voluntary movements of the muscles of the body. It is located in the frontal lobe, the motor cortex takes information from Broca’s area and tells the muscles of your face, mouth, tongue, lips, and throat how to move to form speech.

    To be able to speak clearly, you must move the muscles of your mouth, tongue, and throat. This is where the motor cortex comes into play.


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    Sources: PinterPandai, Frontiers Media, National Center for Biotechnology Information