Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Brain and Language Processing

It's interesting how the brain handles language processing.

This site has some articles on it:
The Brain and Language

"For many years, scientists’ understanding of how the brain processes language was rather simple: they believed that Wernicke’s area interpreted the words that we hear or read, then relayed this information via a dense bundle of fibres to Broca’s area, which generated any words that we spoke in response. But subsequent experiments with brain imaging have revealed the existence of a third region of the brain that is also indispensable for language.

This region is the inferior parietal lobule, also known as “Geschwind’s territory”, in honour of the American neurologist Norman Geschwind, who foresaw its importance as early as the 1960s. Brain imaging studies have now shown that the inferior parietal lobule is connected by large bundles of nerve fibres to both Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. Information might therefore travel between these last two areas either directly, via the arcuate fasciculus, or by a second, parallel route that passes through the inferior parietal lobule

Another interesting thing is how the brain processes written and spoken language.

"According to the Geschwind-Wernicke model, when one person hears another speak a word, it is perceived first in the auditory cortex, then passed on to Wernicke’s area.

In contrast, according to this model, when someone reads a word, it reaches the brain via the eyes rather than the ears. Consequently, it is perceived first, as a graphic pattern, by the primary visual cortex, which passes it on to the angular gyrus

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