Which region of the brain is responsible for language production?
a) Broca’s Area
b) Wernicke’s Area
c) Arcuate Fasciculus
d) Auditory Cortex
A is correct. Broca’s area is a brain region in the frontal lobe important for language production. Answer choice B is incorrect because Wernicke’s area is a brain region in the temporal lobe important for language comprehension. Answer choice C is incorrect because the arcuate fasciculus is the bundle of axons that connects Broca’s and Wernicke’s area and is involved in the process of repeating words. Answer choice D is incorrect because the auditory cortex is responsible for processing auditory information.
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The ability to speak and communicate through language is one of the most remarkable and defining features of human cognition. Behind this complex process lies a network of brain areas that work together to orchestrate the production and comprehension of speech. In this post, we’ll be reviewing the speech control brain areas that you need to know for the MCAT, including Broca’s area, Wernicke’s area, and the arcuate fasciculus.
Looking at Figure 1, we can see that Broca’s area is a brain region in the frontal lobe of the left hemisphere of most individuals. Broca’s area is important for language production, and individuals that have a damaged Broca’s area have what is called nonfluent, expressive, or Broca’s aphasia. People with Broca’s aphasia are unable to produce language that is comprehensible. They often speak with poor sentence construction, disjointed words, and long pauses between words. However, these patients often don’t have any problems with language comprehension.
Wernicke’s area is a brain region in the temporal lobe of the left hemisphere of most individuals. Wernicke’s area is important for language comprehension, and damage to this area can result in what is called fluent, sensory, or Wernicke’s aphasia. Damage to Wernicke’s area results in difficulty comprehending language, but does not typically affect the ability to speak. However, because these patients cannot comprehend language, their speech is often nonsensical.
The arcuate fasciculus is a bundle of axons that connects Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. Damage to the arcuate fasciculus results in what is called conduction aphasia. Patients with conduction aphasia can successfully comprehend and produce language. However, the patients typically have difficulty repeating words that they hear.
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