Brain structure and language

How Language Shapes the Brain
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From Genius to Madness

This balance between simulating complex processes and making simple predictions is necessary to drive brain stimulation research forward. As exemplified in this work, ARL research strives to find new approaches to robustly quantify differences among Soldiers in a way that would allow development of individualized systems to capitalize on the unique expertise of each Soldier.

In both medical treatment and task performance, understanding individuals' brains -- as opposed to the human brain in general -- could have benefits, the authors say.

Related Stories

To speak sensibly, you must think of words to convey an idea or message, formulate them into a sentence according to grammatical rules and then use your lungs, vocal cords and mouth to create sounds. The map shows the z values for the conjunction of all 4 language studies. Another critical issue to be considered is to what extent a functional neuroanatomic model of language processing based on data mostly from English, German, Dutch, Hebrew and, in a few cases, Japanese and Thai can be taken to be valid in general. Research on adult language understanding is also concerned with the architecture of the mind and with the possibility that linguistic knowledge and belief-systems reside in separate 'modules'. The N is interpreted as reflecting difficulty of lexical-semantic integration, as its amplitude is known to increase 1 when a word does not have a lexical status i.

This is because variations in the architecture and function of the brain may influence how the organ responds to neurostimulation, leading to different results for different people. Danielle Bassett, Eduardo D. Glandt Faculty Fellow and associate professor of bioengineering and of electrical and systems engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, contributed to the study. She is also affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania departments of neurology, and physics and astronomy.

Materials provided by University at Buffalo. Original written by Charlotte Hsu. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. Science News. But how neuroanatomy impacts performance is largely an open question. The power of a personalized brain model In the new study, researchers created data-driven mathematical models of the individual brains of 10 people based on diffusion spectrum images which capture the structural wiring of the subjects' actual brains.

Scientists then used the models to learn about each person's brain, including: How easily the brain jumps into an active state when it's stimulated. Which brain regions become synchronized, exhibiting similar activity, when the left inferior frontal gyrus, an area of the brain important to language, is stimulated.

What happens to your brain when you learn a new language?

Possible applications in treating disease, enhancing performance Developing personalized models of brain activity could not only improve neuroscience research, but also spur advancements in using brain stimulation to treat disease or enhancing human performance on various tasks. Story Source: Materials provided by University at Buffalo. Medaglia, Danielle S. Bassett, Jean M. Vettel, Sarah F. Data-driven brain network models differentiate variability across language tasks. Computational modeling shows promise as a tool for probing this question, a study finds.

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. When you read something, you first need to detect the words and then to interpret them by determining context and meaning. This complex process involves many brain regions. Detecting text usually involves the optic nerve and other nerve bundles delivering signals from the eyes to the visual cortex at the back of the brain.

How language shapes our brains...and our lives

If you are reading in Braille, you use the sensory cortex towards the top of the brain. If you listen to someone else reading, then you use the auditory cortex not far from your ears. A system of regions towards the back and middle of your brain help you interpret the text.

1. What makes human language special?

Language processing refers to the way humans use words to communicate ideas and feelings, Green DW, Crinion J, Price CJ (July ). "Exploring cross- linguistic vocabulary effects on brain structures using voxel-based morphometry". Different brain regions in the left and right hemisphere have been identified to support particular language functions. Networks involving the temporal cortex and.

These regions work together as a network to process words and word sequences to determine context and meaning. This enables our receptive language abilities, which means the ability to understand language. Complementary to this is expressive language, which is the ability to produce language. To speak sensibly, you must think of words to convey an idea or message, formulate them into a sentence according to grammatical rules and then use your lungs, vocal cords and mouth to create sounds.

Selective problems

Regions in your frontal, temporal and parietal lobes formulate what you want to say and the motor cortex , in your frontal lobe, enables you to speak the words. Most of this language-related brain activity is likely occurring in the left side of your brain.

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But some people use an even mix of both sides and, rarely, some have right dominance for language. There is an evolutionary view that specialisation of certain functions to one side or the other may be an advantage, as many animals, especially vertebrates, exhibit brain function with prominence on one side. The chance of the person being left-handed is also increased. This makes sense, because the left side of the body is controlled by the motor cortex on the right side of the brain.

In , French neurologist Pierre Paul Broca described a patient unable to speak who had no motor impairments to account for the inability. A postmortem examination showed a lesion in a large area towards the lower middle of his left frontal lobe particularly important in language formulation. In , Carl Wernicke observed an opposite phenomenon. A patient was able to speak but not understand language. Scientists have also observed injured patients with other selective problems , such as an inability to understand most words except nouns; or words with unusual spelling, such as those with silent consonants, like reign.

5 key facts about language and the brain

Before advanced medical imaging, most of our knowledge came from observing unfortunate patients with injuries to particular brain parts. One could relate the approximate region of damage to their specific symptoms.

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Other knowledge was inferred from brain-stimulation studies. Weak electrical stimulation of the brain while a patient is awake is sometimes performed in patients undergoing surgery to remove a lesion such as a tumour. The stimulation causes that part of the brain to stop working for a few seconds, which can enable the surgeon to identify areas of critically important function to avoid damaging during surgery. In the midth century, this helped neurosurgeons discover more about the localisation of language function in the brain. It was clearly demonstrated that while most people have language originating on the left side of their brain, some could have language originating on the right.

Language and the Brain