neurolinguistics n.
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  2. Contents • The meaning of Neuro linguistics. • Brain and language. • Neuroanatomy of the language. • Brain and the linguistic capacity. • Language and Brain Lateralization. • An amazing fact. • Second Language acquisition and Brain plasticity. • Topic notes. Sahar

  3. What is the Meaning ofNEUROLINGUISTICS ? Neurolinguistics is the branch of linguistics that is concerned with the brain mechanism and that underlines the acquisition and use of human language, through the study of the neurobiology of language. Sahar

  4. Brain and Language,Historical background • The hypothesis which states the brain is the source of language has started by the ancient Egyptians and the ancient Greeks. • The assumption reoccupied people’s attention again when Paul Broca introduced what is called “Broca’s aphasia,” and stated that we speak with the left hemisphere in 1869. • Carl Wernicke introduced another variety of aphasia “language disorder” that occurred to patients with lesions. Sahar

  5. Neuroanatomy of the Language • It is now accepted that the Broca’s area and the Wernicke’s area are in the left hemisphere and are the two brain regions most closely associated with language ability. Sahar

  6. Brain and the Linguistic Capacity • The fundamental component of linguistic capacity is the ability to ‘name’ or/and to associate a symbol to an object or an action. That ability is dependant on the ability to form cross-modals associations between modalities (Geschwind, 1964). • Therefore, nonhumans are incapable, even with intense training, of forming the type of modal representation necessary for metaphorical matching. Sahar

  7. Language And Brain Lateralization • The human brain is separated by a longitudinal fissure called the “Corpus Callosum” which separates the brain into two distinct cerebral hemispheres. • Language, as a reasoning function, is lateralized to the left hemisphere of the brain. Left hemisphere Right hemisphere Corpus Callosum Sahar

  8. Language And Brain Lateralization Broca’s Area • Realizing brain function laterality is credited to Paul Broca who built his research on ”Tan”, a patient who had speech deficit in 1861. • After Performing a post-mortem autopsy, Broca determined that Tan had a lesion in the left cerebral hemisphere. This area is called “Broca’s area”. • Broca included that deficit in speech production, Broca’s aphasia, is caused by damage in Broca’s area. Sahar

  9. Language And Brain Lateralization Wernick’eArea • In 1874, Wernicke announced another variety of aphasia, that occurred in patients with lesions in the back portion of the left hemisphere, known as “Wernicke’s Area”. • Unlike Broca’s patients, those patients spoke fluently but they had numerous instances of lexical errors ‘word substitutions’, or what is known as Wernicke’s aphasia. • Those patients also had difficulty in comprehending speech. Sahar

  10. An Amazing Facts • “When baby utters his first “Mama” at age one, adults exult that he has finally begun learning to speak. But his lessons in language began long before. Even in the womb, the infant’s neural and vocal senses are being actively developed” (John L Locke, 1994). • Locke and others found out that the right hemisphere plays an important role in language during the first three to seven years of life. • In the act of speaking, the right side of an adult’s mouth tends to open first because motor control of the right side of the body and control of the speech are both vested in the left hemisphere of the brain. • In young children, both sides of the mouth are opened at the same time because the right side of the brain which controls the left side of the mouth houses speech centers Sahar

  11. Second Language Acquisition and Brain Plasticity • Is human skill to learn more than one language mediated to functional or structural change in the brain? * Learning a second language increases the density of the left inferior partial cortex. * The degree of structural reorganization in this region is modulated by the proficiency attained and the age at acquisition. Sahar