The ability to communicate by language, verbally and in writing, is one of the most difficult cognitive functions to study because only humans are capable of these skills. Thus, our knowledge of language processing in the brain has been inferred from clinical data by studying patients with aphasias—disturbances in producing or understanding the meaning of words—following brain injury, surgery, or other damage to the cerebral cortex.
Two areas appear to play an important role in language and speech: Wernicke's area, in the upper temporal lobe, and Broca's area, in the frontal lobe (Fig. 7.15). Both of these areas are located in association cortex, adjacent to cortical areas that are essential in language communication. Wernicke's area is in the parietal-temporal-occipital association cortex, a major association area for processing sensory information from the somatic sensory, visual, and auditory cortices. Broca's area is in the prefrontal association cortex, adjacent to the portion of the motor cortex that regulates movement of the muscles of the mouth, tongue, and throat (i.e., the structures used in the mechanical production of speech). A fiber tract, the arcuate fasciculus, connects Wernicke's area with Broca's area to
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.