Principles of Neuroscience Lecture 15 Language Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Principles of Neuroscience Lecture 15 Language Deck (27)

Describe the milestone ages for language acquisition

4 months: babble
1 year: one word
2 years: telegraphic sentences
2-3 years: rapid improvement: sentences used


Which regions in the brain are important for language?

Broca' area
Wernicke's area

Other areas are also important but not very discrete


Where is Broca's area located?

In the left frontal lobe


What is the function of Broca's area?

Production of language


What do lesions in Broca's area cause?

Expressive aphasia: inability to speak due to lack of muscle coordination etc


Where is Wernicke's area located?

Left temporal lobe, right near the primary auditory cortex


What is the function of Wernicke's area?

Understanding of speech


What do lesions in Wernicke's area cause?

Receptive aphasia


What is conduction aphasia?

This is possibly to do with lesions or damage to the path that connects Broca's and Wernicke's areas


Compare fluency of speech in Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia

Broca's: interrupted, not fluent
Wernicke's: fluent


Compare grammar in Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia

Broca's: disordered grammar
Wernicke's: grammar ok


Compare syntax in Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia

Broca's: syntax is disordered
Wernicke's: ok syntax


Compare comprehension in Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia

Broca's: comprehension intact
Wernicke's: no comprehension


Compare repetition in Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia

Broca's: repetition
Wernicke's: no repetition


Compare words in Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia

Broca's: words disordered
Wernicke's: inappropriate words


What is the pathology of Alexia?
What are the symptoms?

Word blindness
Able to write down words that have been dictated
Unable to read the words back or recognise them


Describe the localisation of language areas in the brain across individuals

Differs between individuals


Describe hemispheric asymmetry

Left hemisphere: narrower angle of Sylvia's fissure
Syntactical and lexical language
Right eye field
Right body sensation

Right: steeper angle of Sylvia's fissure
Rudimentary speech
Spatial abilities
Emotional colouring of language
Left eye field
Left side of body sensation


What process are localised in the left hemisphere?



What process are localised in the right hemisphere?



In what ways is human language unique? Compare humans with apes

We are the only species that has such complex and generative language


What is the idea of universal grammar?
What did the phylogenetic mapping of languages show?

This is the idea that most human languages are in fact quite similar

The phylogenetic mapping of languages shows that n fact there in unlimited variation between the languages


How does the migration out of Africa theory relate to language?

There is a correlation between the distance away from Africa and the number of phonetic sounds in a language

Africa has the most
Further away, much fewer sounds


Describe why the Hobbit man of Florensis is important for language

The hobbit man was tiny,ap and specifically he had a very small brain.

However, he was around not that long ago evolutionarily.

What would his speech have been like? Would the smaller brain have had an impact?


What brain mechanisms underlie language?
Are there any important genes?

FOXP2 gene - gene for a transcription factor

This gene was thought to be responsible for complex language, because mutations in the gene were linked to speech disorders in a family tree.

However, this transcription factor controls the expression of many genes: movement, perception etc.


Is FOXP2 found in apes and monkeys?

Yes, however it has a few differences in amino acids

People asked the question whether if we put our version of the gene into monkeys, would they evolve complex language? Probably not


What is interesting about the language of the Pirahã people ?

Their language lacks words for many seemingly vital concepts (colour, numbers, past tense etc)

This shows that languages only evolve words that we need

Language is just another way our brain represents the outside world

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