Brain Lobes Associated with Language
In majority of human beings (the right handers), the Left hemisphere of the brain, also called as the dominant hemisphere, is considered to bear Language Function. Even for the rest (the left handers), the phenomena is not totally reversed and left hemisphere is still thought to play an important part in language control.
Speech and manual dexterity (Handedness) are believed to be linked. According to Broca’s rule, the hemisphere controlling speech lies on the side opposite to the preferred hand. Hence, in right handers, which comprises maximum human population, the dominant cerebral hemisphere is the left hemisphere. Similarly, in left handers, the dominant cerebral hemisphere is the right one. The most recent view, however, is that handedness and, hence, even cerebral dominance occurs in degrees.
Different Brain Lobes are associated with different functions. Read this post on Brain Lobes to read a simplified explanation of brain lobes and their functions in humans.
Let us now look at the Brain Lobes known to be specifically associated with Language faculty:
Discovered by French Neurosurgeon Paul Broca in 1861, Broca’s Area is located in the Left Frontal Lobe of the human brain. It is linked with speech production. Patients who suffer an injury to Broca’s area show loss of speech production, a condition known as Broca’s Aphasia.
Discovered by German Neurologist Carl Wernicke in 1871, Wernicke’s area is located in the Posterior Left Temporal Lobe of the brain, and is associated with language understanding. Patients who suffer an injury to this area of the brain have problems in understanding speech of others, a condition known as Wernicke’s aphasia.
Hence, we can say that Frontal and Temporal Lobes are the two lobes of brain associated with language function. However, we cannot rule out the possibility of other parts/lobes of the brain involved with language faculty.
Brodmann’s Area 41 and Brodmann’s Area 42
Brodmann’s area 41 and Brodmann’s 42 are architectonically differentiated areas of the cerebral cortex, which were defined by German Anatomist Korbinian Brodmann in 1909. These areas are often linked with speech recognition and processing.
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