The study of how language is represented and processed in the brain.
What are neurons?
Nerve cells in the brain.
What is the cerebral cortex?
The highest point in the human brain, and given the brain evolved from the bottom up, it is the most advanced and unique to humans. It's crazy-wrinkly as to save on space.
What are the sulci? What are gyri?
Inward and outward respective folds of the cerebral cortex.
What is the longitudinal fissure?
An incredible sulci going from the back to the front of the brain, separating the cerebral hemispheres.
What connects the two cerebral hemispheres?
The corpus callosum.
What does it mean for the hemispheres of the brain to have contralateral responsibilities?
The left hemisphere controls the right side of your body and vice versa.
What does it mean for right-handed people to be left lateralized for language?
Most of a right-handed person's language-related skills are located in the left hemisphere of the brain. Left-handed people, oddly enough, are not lateralized for language.
What are the substructures of the cerebral cortex called?
What are the four lobes of the cerebral cortex and where are they located?
1. Frontal, in the front. 2. Parietal, in the top back. 3. Temporal, in the bottom. 4. Occipital, in the bottom back.
Until recently, what was the only way to study the brain?
What's a lesion?
Severe damage in the brain.
Where's is Broca's area? What is it responsible for?
This lower rear portion of the left frontal lobe is responsible for speech production.
The impairment of the ability to speak as the result of brain damage is called what?
Clarifying this impairment, one finds themselves non-fluent, using fragments and small words. One usually understands their inability, and is thus frustrated.
e.g. "book book table" => "There are two books on the table."
Where is Wernicke's area? What is it responsible for?
It is located to the right of Broca's area when looking at the brain from the left. It is in the upper temporal lobe on the left cerebral hemisphere. It is responsible for language comprehension.
The impairment of language comprehension as the result of brain damage is called what?
Clarifying this impairment, one finds themselves fluent but unintelligible and most likely unaware of their disorder.
e.g. "I like on riding swizzledicks for the tray only but only!"
What is the angular gyrus?
An area in the parietal lobe responsible for reading.
What is computerized axial tomography (CT scanning)?
A method for producing static X-ray scans of the brain.
What about positron emission tomography (PET)?
Uses radioactive tracer injections in the blood to map the brain. This works as the brain uses oxygen and thus blood in certain areas more than others depending on the activity. This is a dynamic approach.
What about functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)?
The preferred technique of gaining information about the functional anatomy of the brain by monitoring blood levels. This abuses the fact that blood is rich in iron, and monitors the iron using magnetic fields. This is dynamic, but not as dynamic as the MEG.
What about magnetoencephalography (MEG)?
This is the most dynamic in its timing resolution and also the least invasive, but also the most expensive to implement. It monitors the magnetic fields produced by the brain.
What are dichotic listening studies?
Studies the support the right ear advantage (REA) which states that one should hear language better out of their right ear because of the contralateral association of cerebral hemispheres to body control alongside the fact that most language processing happens in the left hemisphere of the brain.
What are split brain studies?
Studies of patients who have had the corpus callosum surgically severed in an attempt to see what happens when the hemispheres cannot communicate with one another. Given speech production is in the left hemisphere, items place in the left hand (which communicates with the right hemisphere) are not describable by those with a severed pathway.
What is aphasia?
The term which refers to the loss of language ability as a result of damage to the brain, most often from a stroke.
What is nonfluent aphasia?
Also known as motor aphasia, it is an aphasia which results in staggered or muted speech.
What is global aphasia?
In this aphasia the patient is completely mute.
What is dysprosody?
A common characteristic of Broca's area where sentences are produced at a slow rate which tend to also lack normal sentence intonation.
What are phonemic paraphasias?
Speech errors which result from phonemic errors (reducing consonant clusters, reducing [theta] to [t]) are call phonemic paraphasias. Evidenced in Broca's aphasia.
What are function words?
The little words one would omit when writing a telegram, e.g. it, is, to, a.
What is telegraphic speech?
Another term for Broca's aphasia which comes from sufferers omitting function words in their speech.
What is fluent aphasia?
Also known as sensory aphasia, it is an aphasia which results in nonsensical but easily produced language.
What is jargonaphasia?
A case of Wernicke's aphasia in which phonemes are randomly selected and the result is speech that has the intonational characteristics of English but actually contains very few real words of the language.
What is acquired dyslexia and acquired dysgraphia?
The impairment of reading ability and the impairment of writing ability respectively. Also known as alexia and agraphia, by the by.
What is paragraphia?
The symptoms of phonemic paraphasias but in writing. Evidenced in Broca's aphasia.
What is phonological dyslexia?
A type of acquired dyslexia in which the patient seems to have lost the ability to use spell-to-sound rules, i.e. they can't pronounce words they haven't seen before.
What is surface dyslexia?
A type of acquired dyslexia in which the patient seems to only process words through a set of spell-to-sound rules rather than processing words as wholes, e.g. worm becomes warm as in the opposite of cold rather than the bug in the dirt.
What is deep dyslexia?
A syndrome in which patients produce reading errors that are systematically related to the word that they are asked to read, e.g. father becomes mother.
What is agrammatism?
The syndrome that is characterized by telegraphic speech and a loss of grammatical abilities.
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