We'll start with a series of articles on brain anatomy, to provide the reader with an understanding of brain architecture, which will be helpful later on when we discuss other topics. So, let’s enter now into the Language area’s!
Human language is one of the most complex and powerful communication tools in the animal kingdom. Unlike other animals, humans have exceptional language and speech capabilities, which is evident in the human brain. Our brain has a much larger percentage of cortical circuits dedicated to language-related functions than in other animal brains. Language in humans is not just another cortical function; it is a unique and complex trait that has evolved over time, co-evolving with our capacity for Theory of Mind, creating a cultural natural pressure that has given rise to our sense of individual self.
Let us take a closer look at the anatomy of language processing in the brain. Language is a lateralized function, located in the dominant hemisphere of the brain, usually the left hemisphere. The main language areas in the left hemisphere are the Broca's area and the Wernicke's area.
Broca's area, located in the left frontal lobe, is responsible for the motor functions related to language, such as speaking and writing. Damage to this area results in Broca's aphasia, where the patient can still understand spoken language and read but has difficulty moving their tongue or facial muscles to produce sounds, and struggles with writing.
On the other hand, Wernicke's area, located in the left temporal lobe, is responsible for language comprehension. If this area is damaged, the patient may speak in long sentences with no meaning, routinely add unnecessary new words, and have difficulty understanding speech. They are generally unaware of their mistakes or that their sentences have no meaning.
The complex and interconnected nature of language in the human brain is fascinating. The study of language areas in the brain has advanced our understanding of how we communicate, think, and learn. It has also helped in the development of therapeutic treatments for language disorders such as Broca's aphasia, Wernicke's aphasia, and others. The more we learn about the anatomy and functionality of language areas in the brain, the more we can understand this unique human trait.