Cns: What Do We Now Know About Language And The Brain That We Did Not Previously And How Will Those Results Affect People
Ghuman: The reading-specific effects seen with disrupting the left mid-fusiform gyrus and the ability to decode individual words based on the brain activity from this area, provide very strong evidence that this area is dedicated to reading. This helps to address the debate regarding the neural basis of reading that has persisted for almost 150 years.
Our finding also show that there are multiple critical windows of information processing, with an early gist-level representation and a later, more precise representation that differentiates even very similar words from one another. These findings are important to incorporate in models of reading and suggest a mechanism in which the left mid-fusiform gyrus interacts with many regions of the brain involved in language and visual processing to refine the representation of words over time.
The results of our study naturally lead to the question of what role abnormalities in the left mid-fusiform gyrus, and abnormal interactions between this area other brain areas, play in reading disorders. It also suggests that normalizing the function of this area may be important for remediating disordered reading.
Individual Differences In Reading Comprehension Skill Right
Reading comprehension is a complex, higher-level cognitive process in which there are systematic individual differences in skill and performance. For example, good readers are faster and more accurate at comprehension of syntactically complex sentences than are poor readers . One of the questions that brain imaging studies have attempted to answer is which individual differences in brain functioning underpin individual differences in reading skill.
Individual differences in reading comprehension are likely to be associated with a quantifiable measure of consumption of brain resources during task performance. Resource consumption can be measured by the amount of brain activation in different areas of the brain. In a study of sentence comprehension with varying lexical and syntactic difficulty, Prat, Keller and Just found greater right-hemisphere activation in less-skilled participants than in skilled participants. In other words, to perform the more difficult tasks, less-skilled participants required additional recruitment of brain activation in right-hemisphere homologues of the areas usually activated during language comprehension .
What Areas Of The Brain Relate To Language And Reading
The human brain is a complex organ that has many different functions. It controls the body and receives, analyzes, and stores information.
The brain can be divided down the middle lengthwise into a right and a left hemisphere. Most of the areas responsible for speech, language processing, and reading are in the left hemisphere, and for this reason we will focus all of our descriptions and figures on the left side of the brain. Within each hemisphere, we find the following four brain lobes .
In addition, converging evidence suggests that two other systems, which process language within and between lobes, are important for reading .
The first is the left parietotemporal system that appears to be involved in word analysis the conscious, effortful decoding of words . This region is critical in the process of mapping letters and written words onto their sound correspondences letter sounds and spoken words . This area is also important for comprehending written and spoken language .
The second system that is important for reading is the left occipitotemporal area . This system seems to be involved in automatic, rapid access to whole words and is a critical area for skilled, fluent reading .
Read Also: Why Do I Get Brain Freezes So Easily
Which Part Of The Brain Keeps You Breathing
Breathing helps us to absorb oxygen from our atmosphere, and that oxygen plays a huge role in turning food into energy our body requires.
It also allows us to get rid of the carbon dioxide the respiration process generates.
The medulla oblongata is able to precisely detect the exact amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide within our system. Depending on this ratio, it signals the heart and the diaphragm with instructions on how to work.
The greater the level of strength we need to complete a task, the more oxygen we need. Therefore, both the respiratory and the cardiovascular system need to work harder to provide us with the amount of oxygen we need to produce energy and get rid of all the excess carbon dioxide.
For example, if were working out, were exerting ourselves more than usual. The medulla oblongata notices our bodys need for more oxygen .
So it makes us breathe more heavily to increase oxygen intake. In addition, our heart beats faster so the necessary oxygen can be distributed to the muscles with increased speed.
The increased intake of oxygen helps us deal with the greater generation of carbon dioxide more efficiently as well. Thus, the medulla oblongata keeps the respiratory process balanced: in with the oxygen, out with the carbon dioxide.
However, if the oxygen concentration is too great, the medulla oblongata signals the respiratory and the cardiovascular system to take it down a notch or two.
How The Brain Learns To Read
Reading is a relatively new cultural development. While there were some people who could read dating back to the invention of writing during the 4th millennium BC, it was not until after the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s that large numbers of the population in many countries learned to read. The human brain did not evolve to be able to read the way it did for spoken language. In order to read, the brain has to learn to re-purpose brain functions that were developed over thousands of years for other, more basic needs. Dehaene describes it this way:
The brain circuitry inherited from our primate evolution is co-opted to the task of recognizing printed words the brains existing neural networks are recycled for reading. Because of something called brain plasticity, during brain development a range of brain circuits can adapt for new uses. When we learn a new skill such as reading, we recycle some of our old brain circuits.
What parts of the brain are involved in reading?
People who become experienced readers use and integrate several regions of their brain, primarily in the left hemisphere including :
- The parietal-temporal region which does the job of breaking a written word into its sounds .
- The occipital-temporal region where the brain stores the appearance and meaning of words . This is critical for automatic, fluent reading so that a reader can quickly identify words without having to sound each one out.
The Brain Changes as We Learn to Read
You May Like: How Much Storage Does The Human Brain Have
What Part Of The Brain Controls Fear
From a biological standpoint, fear is a very important emotion. It helps you respond appropriately to threatening situations that could harm you.
This response is generated by stimulation of the amygdala, followed by the hypothalamus. This is why some people with brain damage affecting their amygdala dont always respond appropriately to dangerous scenarios.
When the amygdala stimulates the hypothalamus, it initiates the fight-or-flight response. The hypothalamus sends signals to the adrenal glands to produce hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.
As these hormones enter the bloodstream, you might notice some physical changes, such as an increase in:
- heart rate
- blood sugar
In addition to initiating the fight-or-flight response, the amygdala also plays a role in fear learning. This refers to the process by which you develop an association between certain situations and feelings of fear.
Cns: Can You Briefly Describe How You Were Able To Identify In The Brain Recordings The Specific Words Patients Were Reading
Ghuman: We applied machine-learning algorithms designed to detect which aspects of the neural signals are different between conditions, specifically in our case, between different words. We give these algorithms multiple examples of brain recordings for each word and the algorithm learns to detect the patterns in those recordings associated with particular words. We then gave the algorithm an unfamiliar recording and the algorithm attempted to decode what word the brain activity came from. Using these algorithms, based on the brain recordings, we were able to identify the words the patient was reading significantly more accurately than as if we were randomly guessing.
Interestingly, we found that there were two critical windows of time for this decoding. First, based on the brain activity from 100-250 milliseconds after the subjects read a word where we could tell the difference between words that were completely different, such as hint and dome. Then from about 300-500 milliseconds, we could now even tell the difference between words that were only one letter different, such as hint and lint. This demonstrates that the left mid-fusiform gyrus plays an important role in refining the neural representation of words in at least two, temporally distinct stages of information processing.
Read Also: Lack Of Sleep Causes Brain To Eat Itself
Cns: How Did You Become Personally Interested In This Area Of Study
Ghuman: Reading is fascinating because it is a uniquely human skill and one that has only relatively recently become prevalent in historical terms, unlike something like face perception, which can be seen in our evolutionary ancestors. Therefore, studying reading provides a unique insight into how this visual expertise acquired during childhood shapes the brain.
Indeed, the fact that literacy is a relatively recent development and the fact that we translate what we read into the sound of the words in our heads has led to a fierce debate, which can be tracked back to the 19th century, as to whether or not reading-specific neural circuits even exist. More broadly, it is the capacity to use modern recording and analysis tools to answer questions that people have been asking about cognition for centuries that drew me to cognitive neuroscience.
Modality Fingerprints For Listening Comprehension
The modality-specific bilateral superior temporal cortex activation in listening comprehension, relative to reading comprehension, replicated previous findings of the bilaterality of activation for this process. Both the STG and MTG are well known for their association with early speech processing, and with spoken-word recognition tasks . Listening comprehension also showed more activation in right angular gyrus. Left angular gyrus activation has been associated with phonology-to-orthography conversion in lexical tasks . Listening comprehension also showed more activation than reading comprehension in the superior frontal gyrus . The activation of superior frontal areas of the brain has been associated with phonological processing without visual input .
Recommended Reading: Slow Brain Bleed
The Brain Without Dyslexia
Although there are normal variations in the brains of individuals without dyslexia, fMRIs show that readers without dyslexia have increased activity in the areas of the brain associated with reading. Individuals without dyslexia engage the middle area of the brain, or temporal lobe, to support phonological awareness for decoding and discriminating sounds. Recognizing familiar words is controlled by an area in the back of the brain known as the occipital lobe. And when considering how to pronounce words, individuals use the frontal lobe located at the front of the brain. In the non-dyslexic brain, reading activates these different areas of the brain which work together to process written language.
Can We Screen Everyone Who Has Reading Difficulties
Not yet. It is an appealing vision of putting a child we are concerned about in an fMRI machine to quickly and accurately identify his or her problem, but research has not taken us that far.
There are several reasons why a clinical or school-based use of imaging techniques to identify children with dyslexia is not currently feasible. One is the enormous cost of fMRI machines, the computers, and the software needed to run them. Another part of the cost is the staff that is needed to run and interpret the results.
Also, in order for this technology to be used for diagnosis, it needs to be accurate for individuals. Currently, results are reliable and reported for groups of participants, but not necessarily for individuals within each group .
The number of children who would be identified as being average when they really have a problem or as having a problem when they are average would need to be significantly lower for imaging techniques to be used for diagnosis of individual children.
Also Check: Why Are My Brain Freezes So Bad
S Of The Brain And Their Functions
The cerebrum is the largest portion of the brain, and contains tools which are responsible for most of the brain’s function. It is divided into four sections: the temporal lobe, the occipital lobe, parietal lobe and frontal lobe. The cerebrum is divided into a right and left hemisphere which are connected by axons that relay messages from one to the other. This matter is made of nerve cells which carry signals between the organ and the nerve cells which run through the body.
Frontal Lobe: The frontal lobe is one of four lobes in the cerebral hemisphere. This lobe controls a several elements including creative thought, problem solving, intellect, judgment, behavior, attention, abstract thinking, physical reactions, muscle movements, coordinated movements, smell and personality.
Parietal Lobe:Located in the cerebral hemisphere, this lobe focuses on comprehension. Visual functions, language, reading, internal stimuli, tactile sensation and sensory comprehension will be monitored here.
Occipital Lobe: The optical lobe is located in the cerebral hemisphere in the back of the head. It helps to control vision.
- Broca’s Area– This area of the brain controls the facial neurons as well as the understanding of speech and language. It is located in the triangular and opercular section of the inferior frontal gyrus.
Hope this guide on parts of the brain and their functions help you understand the issue more clearly.
A Number Of Things Need To Happen For A Child To Learn To Read And To Comprehend What She Reads Says Nadine Gaab Phd
Gaab, an HMS associate professor of pediatrics, heads a research unit in the Laboratories for Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Childrens Hospital.
Infants must learn to process sounds. By early kindergarten or preschool, the child must learn phonological processing, which is the ability to manipulate the sounds of language, such as adding or deleting sounds to make words. The child must then learn to read single words and develop the vocabulary necessary to read and understand sentences and paragraphs, and, finally, master the ability to read fluently with reasonable speed.
She has to decode words, she has to have the vocabulary once she decodes the words, she has to know meaning of the words, and she has to read fluently so that she can comprehend a whole paragraph, says Gaab. These all have to come together for successful reading comprehension.
A number of brain regions are involved in reading and comprehension. Among them are the temporal lobe, which is responsible for phonological awareness and for decoding and discriminating sounds Brocas area in the frontal lobe, which governs speech production and language comprehension and the angular and supramarginal gyrus, which link different parts of the brain so that letter shapes can be put together to form words.
The good news, she says, is that after remediation, after intervention, you see changes in these pathways that may affect a childs ability to read and comprehend.
Can The Brain Activity Of Struggling Readers Improve
Poor readers can start to function like good readers with effective reading instruction because their brains show increased activity in the temporal lobe.
A 2004 study, Imaging Study Reveals Brain Function Of Poor Readers Can Improve, shows that poor readers can conquer their reading disabilities.
An efficient reader reads fast and retains information. Suppose you are a fast reader who has a problem holding on to information. In that case, you can take our Personal Productivity course to help maximize your memory.
This course provides you with practical techniques that help you retain critical information while reading. It is perfect for students and professionals.
Which Part Of The Brain Controls Memory
There are three main areas of the brain: the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and the brain stem. As well as hemispheres and lobes. They play key roles in encoding, storing, and retrieving memories.
Consisting of three main areas: cerebrum, cerebellum, and the brain stem. These parts of the human brain serve in the creation of memories, storing memories, and the retrieval of memories. Working in unison the brain allows for a person to control their memories.
âThe brain is far more intricate than a few bits and pieces stitched together. After all, this is the organ that built the pyramids, painted the Sistine Chapel, wrote Shakespearean sonnets, and landed on the moon.
There are 86 million neurons in the brain, forming a dense network of pathways. While weâre nowhere close to a comprehensive understanding of this three-pound organ, we can localize certain functions and aspects to specific regions, including memory.
Don’t Miss: Why Does Brain Freeze Happen
Cns: Can You Describe Other Work You Have Done Using Invasive Human Electrophysiology
Ghuman: Much of the work my lab does at this point involves invasive human electrophysiology. Besides reading, we study the neural basis of face perception and social and affective perception.
As an example, we recently using machine learning methods to examine neural information processing for face identity using electrodes that were in an area of the brain critical for face recognition. Interestingly, in that study we also found that there were two very similar critical time windows for face perception as the ones we found for word recognition. The fact that similar time windows are seen for both faces and words suggests that these are critical periods for neural information processing.
The Processing Of Abstract Amodal Information In Language
The well-known left-hemisphere language network implicated in the processing of language and discourse includes the LIFG, the superior and middle temporal gyri, the inferior temporal gyrus, and the angular gyrus . The LIFG is implicated in a variety of language tasks, which include production and comprehension and retrieval of meaning . Lesions to the portion of the LIFG known as Broca’s Area ) are associated with language production disorders, such as articulatory and speech aphasias and naming deficits .
The LIFG is implicated in several specialized language tasks that require some level of manipulation and integration of amodal information. LIFG activation has been associated with syntactic and semantic processing , increasing comprehension workload , increasing complexity of language units , and reading tongue-twister sentences . The LIFG has been described as part of a network of cortical areas activated in the integration of information into the reader’s understanding of text. This is similar to what models of comprehension call the mental model .
You May Like: What Part Of The Brain Controls Vomiting