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Where Is Wernicke’s Area Located In The Brain

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General Inability To Speak And Understand Language

2-Minute Neuroscience: Wernicke’s Area

Widespread damage to the brains language centers can result in global aphasia. People with global aphasia will have an extremely hard time expressing and understanding language.

People with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimers disease, often experience loss of speech slowly over time. This is called primary progressive aphasia .

PPA is not Alzheimers disease but can be a symptom of Alzheimers disease. PPA can also be an isolated disorder without the other symptoms of Alzheimers disease. Some people with PPA have normal memories and can continue leisure activities and sometimes even work.

Unlike aphasia that results from stroke or brain trauma, PPA results from slow deterioration of one or more areas of the brain used in speech and language.

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What Part Of The Brain Controls Speech

Your brain is responsible for nearly all functions of your body and for interpreting sensory information from the world around you.

Your brain has many parts but speech is primarily controlled by the largest part of the brain, the cerebrum.

The cerebrum can be divided into two parts, called hemispheres, which are joined by a band of nerve fibers called the corpus callosum.

Your speech is typically governed by the left side of your cerebrum. In about a third of people who are left-handed, however, speech may actually be controlled by the right side.

Injuries In The Wernicke Area

When an injury occurs in the Wernicke area, it is expected that certain alterations in the understanding of the language will be found.

The most typical consequence of damage in this area is Wernicke’s aphasia. It consists of difficulties in understanding what he hears while preserving the pronunciation of phonemes.

More specifically, an injury in the Wernicke area would cause:

– Problems to differentiate the phonemes from the language . This directly causes speech not to be understood.

– Due to difficulties in identifying the sounds of language, it is common for these patients to join words incoherently.

– Due to the above, neither will be able to evoke the graphic representations of the phonemes, having altered the writing.

However, there are authors who point out that for the appearance of Wernicke’s aphasia, more areas of the brain should be damaged. In particular, adjacent areas. This is manifested by deficits that also encompass both comprehension and part of the spoken, gestural and written expression.

Instead, they indicate that a localized lesion in the Wernicke area would exclusively produce a condition called”pure deafness for words.” It seems to affect only the reception of the language heard, so that these patients understand the written language better.

In addition, they have preserved the identification of non-verbal sounds and writing.


  • Binder, J.R. . The Wernicke area: Modern evidence and a reinterpretation. Neurology, 85 , 2170-2175.
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    How Do I Communicate With Someone With Aphasia

    When you need to talk with someone with aphasia, choose a place with little background noise, make eye contact, and follow these tips:

    • Introduce the subject before you begin the conversation.
    • Periodically, repeat or rephrase what you have already said.
    • If you need to ask a question, phrase it as a yes-or-no question.
    • Use gestures, pictures, or props when appropriate.
    • Keep conversations short and relatively simple.

    Remember that people who have aphasia still have their intellect and their hearing. Don’t talk down to them or speak more loudly than usual. Allow them plenty of time to express themselves and try to avoid speaking for them.

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    Should The Wernicke Area Be Relocated

    brain broca

    If the posterior perisylvian region now labeled the Wernicke area does not support the main function traditionally ascribed to it , one possible course of action is to apply the Wernicke area label instead to those regions that do support speech comprehension. The main problem with this approach is that speech comprehension is a highly distributed function, involving a bihemispheric phoneme perception system and a widely distributed semantic network. To refer to all of these regions as the Wernicke area seems to sacrifice any utility that the term might have, and furthermore these other brain networks were never the focus of Wernicke’s claims. Given the pervasive application of the Wernicke area label to the posterior perisylvian region, which seems unlikely to change, and the fact that damage in this location produces one component of Wernicke aphasia , a wiser course might be to retain the label while keeping in mind the true function of this brain region.

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    A Simple Model Of Posterior Cortical Language Networks

    Figure 3 presents a visual summary of some key conclusions regarding the classical Wernicke area and other posterior language regions, derived from modern lesion localization and functional imaging studies of word comprehension and production. The take-home points are as follows:

  • The brain region known as the Wernicke area, shown in blue, supports a critical component of speech production, referred to as phonologic retrieval, in which the phonemes to be articulated, and their temporal order, are represented mentally. This process is required for all speech production tasks, including repetition, word retrieval , and reading aloud.
  • Speech repetition involves input to the phonologic retrieval system from the auditory phoneme perception system . A similar mechanism supports reading aloud, except that the input to the phonologic retrieval system comes from a visual letter perception system in the ventral occipitotemporal region .
  • Communicative speech production involves a stage prior to phonologic retrieval, in which a concept is retrieved that expresses what the speaker wants to say. Word retrieval is then accomplished by mapping these word meanings onto phonologic representations . Thus, unlike with repetition and reading, the input to the phonologic retrieval system in these tasks comes from an internal semantic system. This semantic processing network is widely distributed across higher-order association cortices in the temporal, parietal, and frontal lobes .
  • Broca’s Area And Wernickes Area

    Wernicke’s area, often known as Wernicke’s speech area is one among the two areas of the cerebral cortex connected to speech, with Broca’s area being the other. In relation to Broca’s region, which is concerned with language processing, this is engaged in comprehension of speaking and writing.

    Wernicke’s Area Location: Brodmann region 22 , which is situated within the superior temporal gyrus inside the dominant cerebral hemisphere, and that is the left hemisphere in around 95 percent of right-handed people and 70 percent of left-handed people, is thought to house it.

    Wernicke’s aphasia is a receptive, fluent aphasia Wernicke which occurs due to Wernickes area damage. The individual with aphasia would be able to link terms proficiently, however, the phrases would be meaningless. Non-fluent aphasia, on the other hand, is characterised by the use of meaningful words, however in a non-fluent, telegraphic fashion.

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    How Did Broca Discover Broca’s Area

    Broca’s area was discovered by a French neurosurgeon named Paul Broca . In 1861, Broca examined the brain of a man who had recently died. … Broca discovered a damaged area in the man’s left frontal lobe. He subsequently found damage in the same brain area in other people with similar speech problems.

    Damage Of The Wernickes Area

    Wernicke’s area of the brain is located in

    Aphasia is the loss or disruption of language skills that were already previously acquired and functional. Aphasia is a condition usually caused by a brain injury. Injuries to the brain especially occur as a result of a stroke, but can also occur as a result of physical injuries, tumors, dementias, infectious brain diseases, etc.

    In more medical terms, speech disorders resulting from damage to the corresponding speech centers in the dominant cerebral hemisphere of the cerebral cortex and their subcortical connections are called aphasia or, if the impairment is incomplete, dysphasia.

    Depending on the part of the brain that is affected by the injury, a patient with aphasia partially or completely loses one or more linguistic abilities. Language skills include the production of spontaneous speech, speech comprehension, the ability to name items, repetition, reading, and writing.

    Aphasia can also be accompanied by cognitive function impairment, such as loss of attention, memory problems, and thinking disorders. In addition to the spoken languages, sign language functions can also be damaged by aphasia. Sign languages also represent structured linguistic systems and have a phonological, morphological, and syntactic level.

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    What Is The Hippocampus Responsible For

    Hippocampus is a complex brain structure embedded deep into temporal lobe. It has a major role in learning and memory. It is a plastic and vulnerable structure that gets damaged by a variety of stimuli. Studies have shown that it also gets affected in a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

    Components Of The Circle Of Willis

    The arteries that make up the circle of Willis are divided into an anterior group and a posterior group . The orientation of the circle is shown in the illustration below.

    In order to make the illustrations above and below easier to understand, the arteries are cut off at the ends where they disappear from view, change direction, or are no longer considered to be part of the circle of Willis. The blood vessels that make up the circulatory system are actually continuous. They branch and merge and change in diameter and direction, but they never simply end.

    The anterior group of arteries in the circle of Willis consists of the following blood vessels.

    • Right and left anterior cerebral artery
    • Anterior communicating artery
    • Right and left internal carotid artery

    The posterior group consists of these vessels.

    • Right and left posterior communicating artery
    • The horizontal parts of the right and left posterior cerebral arteries
    • The tip of the basilar artery

    Blood is sent from the heart to the brain through the two internal carotid arteries and the two vertebral arteries.

    Artery positions in relation to the undersurface of the brain

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    How Wernickes Area Was Discovered

    Early neuroscientists were interested in discovering where certain abilities were localized in the brain. This localization of brain function suggests that certain abilities, such as producing and understanding language, are controlled by certain parts of the brain.

    One of the pioneers of this research was a French neurologist named Paul Broca. During the early 1870s, Paul Broca discovered a region of the brain associated with the production of spoken language. He found that damage to this area resulted in problems producing language.

    Broca described how one patient known as Leborgne could understand language although he could not speak aside from isolated words and a few other utterances. When Leborgne died, Broca conducted a postmortem exam on the man’s brain and found a lesion in an area of the frontal lobe. This area of the brain is now referred to as Broca’s area and is associated with the production of speech.

    About 10 years later, a neurologist named Carl Wernicke identified a similar type of problem in which patients were able to speak but were not able to actually comprehend language. Examining the brains of patients suffering from this language problem revealed lesions at a junction of the parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes.

    This region of the brain is now known as Wernicke’s area and is associated with the understanding of spoken and written language.

    Wernicke’s Area: Speech Interpretation

    Know Your Brain: Wernicke

    Location: Temporal lobe at the end of the lateral fissure, where the temporal lobe meets the parietal lobe.Main Function: Speech comprehension.Result of Damage: People who suffer damage to Wernickes area are not able to understand speech. They can often produce speak fluently, but their words may not make sense.

    Take a look at the video below to see how someone speaks when they have Wernickes aphasia.

    What do you notice about Bryons ability to communicate? While you listen, reflect on some of the same questions as we did for Brocas aphasia.

    • Does he appear to understand what is being spoken to him?
    • Do the words he responds with make sense in the context of the conversation?
    • Does he have trouble saying individual words?
    • Does he have trouble saying multiple words together in a sentence?
    • Does he stutter or have long pauses between words?
    • Do you think it would be possible to have a meaningful conversation with Bryon?

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    Wernickes Area Vs Brocas Area

    Wernickes Aphasia doesnt affect our ability to vocalize. This is due to Wernickes early theory the part of the brain known as Wernickes area strictly comprehends language. The area that tells the mouth to vocalize is known as Brocas Area.

    Wernickes research came about 10 years after similar discoveries were made by French neuroscientist Paul Broca. Broca had been working with patients who could comprehend language, but didnt have the ability to produce speech. Like Wernicke, Broca found lesions in the brains of these patients. But the lesions were located in a slightly different location. This part of the brain, responsible for speech production, is now known as Brocas area.

    Brocas area is located on the other side of the auditory and motor cortex.

    History Of Brocas Area

    Paul Broca was a French physician who discovered what would later be named as Brocaâ area. In 1861, Broca met a patient called Louis Victor Leborgne, who would also be known as âTanâ.

    Broca found that Leborgne had difficulties with producing speech, often wanting to communicate his thoughts but being unable to. Leborgne was also known as âTanâ since this was one of the only words that he could produce, often repeating the word twice, saying âTan tanâ.

    Leborgne often used gestures to try to communicate to Broca, but sometimes became frustrated at his inability to express himself.At the time, there was a lot of debate as to whether there were specific areas of the brain specialized for certain functions, or if the entire brain was utilized for every function, known as a holistic viewpoint.

    There was some evidence emerging that suggested that speech may be localized to the frontal lobes. Broca intended to investigate this further as he held the idea himself that brain functions may be specialized to certain areas.

    When Leborgne died, Broca completed a post-mortem of his brain to investigate any abnormalities. As Broca lived in a time before modern neuroimaging techniques existed, one of the only methods of discovering brain differences at the time was to wait until patients had died to be able to view their brains.

    As with the case of Leborgne, an individual with Brocaâs aphasia may only be able to produce two words at a time, often repeating the same word.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Wernicke’s Aphasia

    The speech of a person with Wernicke’s aphasia will be fluent but will often make no sense and have errors, which include:

    • Mixing up related words â like calling a chair a table
    • Substituting a completely unrelated word â like saying apple instead of house
    • Mixing up words that sound similar â like saying tip instead of dip or break instead of bread
    • Reversing syllables â like saying achehead instead of headache

    Wernicke’s aphasia also causes difficulty with reading and writing. A person with Wernickeâs aphasia may spell words wrong or make incorrect word choices and be unaware of their errors â making them frustrated when others can’t understand them.

    Where Is The Motor Speech Area

    Broca’s Area vs. Wernicke’s Area and Aphasia MADE EASY | MCAT |


    Also asked, where is the Broca’s area located and what is its function?

    Broca’s area is located in the lower portion of the left frontal lobe of the brain. Broca examined this part of the brain when dealing with people who had speech impairments to determine that it is responsible for the production of words and speech.

    Secondly, where is the Wernicke area located? Wernicke’s area is classically located in the posterior section of the superior temporal gyrus in the left cerebral hemisphere. This area encircles the auditory cortex on the lateral sulcus .

    Similarly, what part of the brain controls speech and motor skills?

    The frontal lobes are the largest of the four lobes responsible for many different functions. These include motor skills such as voluntary movement, speech, intellectual and behavioral functions.

    How does the Broca’s area work?

    Broca’s area of the brain. The Broca’s Area was named in 1861 as the center of speech articulation. Broca’s area plays the primary role in the creation of programs of spoken production as well as phonetic-phonological, syntactic and semantic aspects of language. Moreover, it enables the adoption of grammatical rules.

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    Comprehensive Interpretative Function Of The Posterior Superior Temporal Lobewernickes Area

    The somatic, visual, and auditory association areas all meet one another in the posterior part of the superior temporal lobe, shown inFigure 58-7, where thetemporal, parietal, and occipital lobes all come together. This area of confluence of the different sensory interpretative areas is especially highly developed in thedominant side of the braintheleft side in almost all right-handed peopleand it plays the greatest single role of any part of the cerebral cortex for the higher comprehension levels of brain function that we callintelligence. Therefore, this region has been called by different names suggestive of an area that has almost global importance: thegeneral interpretative area, thegnostic area, theknowing area, thetertiary association area, and so forth. It is best known asWernickes area in honor of the neurologist who first described its special significance in intellectual processes.

    After severe damage in Wernickes area, a person might hear perfectly well and even recognize different words but still be unable to arrange these words into a coherent thought. Likewise, the person may be able to read words from the printed page but be unable to recognize the thought that is conveyed.

    Angular GyrusInterpretation of Visual Information

    Eleanor M. Saffran, in, 2002

    Difference Between Brocas Area And Wernickes Area In The Brain

    The main task of Brocas area is to generate meaningful language so that the person can be speak sensibly and fluently. The Wernickes area is responsible for understanding the statements made by the speaker. It is essentially involved in language processing. The following Bodytomy post gives a comparison between the two.

    The main task of Brocas area is to generate meaningful language so that the person can be speak sensibly and fluently. The Wernickes area is responsible for understanding the statements made by the speaker. It is essentially involved in language processing. The following Bodytomy post gives a comparison between the two.

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