Brain Essay

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The deficit-lesion method for studying brain function  Before functional neuroimaging techniques became available, the only ways to study brain function were   Animal research. The deficit-lesion method: Studying the behavior of brain damaged patients and determining the site of the damage in a post-mortem analysis.  Logic:  If a patient cannot do X, then the execution of X must depend on the lesioned area. The deficit-lesion method for studying brain function  Since language is a uniquely human capability, the history of the cognitive neuroscience of language is deeply rooted in deficit-lesion studies.  Language problems as a result of brain damage: APHASIA.  Study of aphasic patients: APHASIOLOGY. Paul Broca & Broca’s aphasia    First localization of language function (1861). Patient could only produce a single syllable “tan”. Severe production problem.   Broca’s aphasia Lesion in the posterior part of the left inferior frontal gyrus  Broca’s area Paul Broca & Broca’s aphasia    First localization of language function (1861). Patient could only produce a single syllable “tan”. Severe production problem.   Broca’s aphasia Lesion in the posterior part of the left inferior frontal gyrus  Broca’s area Production problems of Broca’s aphasia   Slow, laborious, non-fluent speech. Output limited to short utterances of less than four words. Speech understanding and reading may be relatively intact, but writing is limited. Broca’s aphasic writing sample. Broca’s Aphasia Wernicke’s aphasia     A language problem distinct from Broca’s aphasia first described by Carl Wernicke (1874). Damage to the boundary of the temporal and parietal lobes --> Wernicke’s area. Fluent but disordered speech. Similar writing.

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