Friday, February 7, 2014

Do You Know What Broca's Area Does? #2

UCSD News reported on the first experiment to use Intra-Cranial Electrophysiology or ICE to document how the human brain computes grammar and produces words. Scientists evaluated both speaking and reading. Recordings when patients spoke words revealed that one small part of the brain, Broca’s Area, engages in processing the identity, structure, and sounds of words, separately and in a quick sequence. It can do three different functions at three different times (within a quarter of a second). Patterns of neuronal activity showed lexical, grammatical, and articulatory computations at roughly 200, 320 and 450 milliseconds after the target word was presented. These patterns were identical across nouns and verbs and consistent across patients. Ned T. Sahin, PhD, stated: “It has been clear for some time that the expressive/receptive model is out of date, and now it is clearer that Broca’s area has several roles, in both expressive and receptive language.”

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