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Unformatted text preview: Brain and Language November 15, 2007 A. cerebral hemispheres are divided into a right hemisphere and a left hemisphere. each one is specalized for some behaviors. the hemispheres communicate with each other through a thick band of 200 -250 million nerve fibers, called the corpus callosum ⁃ left = language, math, and logic ⁃ right = spacial abilities, face recognition, visual imagery ⁃ motor control is switched (left contrl right side, right controls left) B. 95% of right-handers, the left side of the brain is dominant for language C. even in 60-70% of left hander the left side of the brain is used for language D. 2 language areas of the brain that are important for language are Broca's area and Wernicke's area E. much of waht we know about the functions of the brain we know from split-brain experiments ⁃ most patients who have had their brain split (usually because of acute epilepsy) only have trouble functioning in very very specific situation ⁃ a "typical" split=brain patient is looking striaght ahead and a picture of a spoon is flashed to the right of the focus - the visual info about the spoon ends up in the LEFT HEMISPHERE. when the patient is asked what the picture was, she has no problem identifying it ⁃ BUT if the spoon had been flashed to the left of the dot then the visual info would have traveled to the RIGHT HEMISPHERE. Now if the patient is asked what the picture was, they would claim that nothing was seen ⁃ in that same situation when the same patient is asked to pick out an object using only the LEFT hand he will correctly pick out the spoon (b/c touch info crosses to the right hemisphere) but they still could not express what they had ⁃ SEE ONLINE POWERPOINT FOR MORE EXAMPLES F. a neurosurgeon can place an electrode on various areas of the exposed brain of an awake patient during surgery as the brain does not have any receptors for pain. the patient can say what he or she feels and thinks G. the process can be so refined as to test exactly when certain words are lost in the progression into the brain tissue H. 1836 - Marc Dax - had patients with speech problem who all have left side dam- age I. CHECK ONLINE FOR OTHER DOCTORS J. Damage to Broca's area (aphasia, agrammatism) ⁃ prevents a person from producting (proper) speech ⁃ appears not to affect understanding ⁃ frequently speak in short meaningful phrases ⁃ get frustrated with inability to convey ⁃ can comprehend speech better than they can produce it ⁃ aggrammatic patients typically have problems with non-realistic situations, sug- gesting that they are using world-knowledge rather than grammar, to understand speech around them. ⁃ it appears the patients were unable to comprehend the importance of the grammar ⁃ ex. "the cat was chased by the mouse" - patients had a much harder time compre- hending this sentence compared to "the mouse was chased by the cat" ⁃ problem with the functional lexicon K. Language acquisition vs. language breakdown ⁃ does lang. development and agrammatism follow a mirror route?does lang....
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This note was uploaded on 05/12/2008 for the course LING 110Lg taught by Professor Borer during the Fall '07 term at USC.
- Fall '07