Aphasias: What is it? Learning after a brain injury looks promising.

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Primary auditory perception, such as hearing happens in the temporal lobe where the primary auditory cortex is located. The primary auditory cortex receives sensory information from the ears and processes the information. Auditory signals from the cochlea reach the cerebral cortex through the superior temporal gyrus and are processed by the primary auditory cortex in the left temporal lobe. The brain processes language through the auditory cortex that is located around the upper side of the temporal lobe. The temporal lobe processes sensory input into meanings that form human communication. The ear collects vibrations from outside through the tympanic membrane and transmits them to the ossicles which in turn transmit the vibrations into fluid in the inner ear. The cochlea is a spiral cavity of the inner ear containing the Corti. The Corti is an organ that produces electrochemical signals caused by the ossicle’s fluid moving through hair cells. The auditory or cochlear nerve produces impulses that transfer auditory information from the inner ear to the brain.

The process is complex: The brain processes information from the outside and it also process information that people want to communicate to others. The brain has billions of neurons sending and receiving information simultaneously that makes humans function as we do. The arcuate fasciculus links Broca’s area to Wernicke’s area in the superior and inferior posterior temporal lobe where they process language. The inferior parietal lobule processes and classifies language, auditory, visual, and sensory stimuli that is acquired and determines how the information is used. The fusiform gyrus helps recognize words and classify things within other categories.

Primary auditory perception, such as hearing happens in the temporal lobe where the primary auditory cortex is located receives sensory information from the ears and processes the information. Auditory signals from the cochlea reach the cerebral cortex through the superior temporal gyrus and are processed by the primary auditory cortex in the left temporal lobe.

Understanding language happens in the Verna Caesarea, but the brain is more complex than that. It doesn’t do things in order. Instead, the brain has many things happening simultaneously so that we comprehend what we see and hear, find the right word to express a thought, select the right sound to speak, use the right muscles, and switch between listening and speaking. 

The Pars triangularis helps develop speech. It sits in the Broca’s area of the brain’s pars orbitalis and pars opercularis in the inferior frontal gyrus.  The superior posterior temporal lobe receives language and sits in the Wernicke’s area. If the arcuate fasciculus that links the Broca’s area to the Wernicke’s area is damaged, a person would have trouble repeating something. The fusiform gyrus also processes language and if damaged a person would not be able to recognize words. If the temporal lobe is damaged a person may not be able to select the sound needed to say a word.

Research suggests that social engagement such as singing familiar songs and choral singing has a positive effect on patients with non-fluent aphasia or Broca’s aphasia that helps them to pronounce words. Assessments were carried out by speech and language pathologists before and after a 6-month intervention period where participants had to attend either weekly choir sessions (experimental condition), drama classes (control condition) or neither of these. An individual analysis of twenty-two participants showed a positive correlation between attendance to any social activity and functional communication improvements. Research seems to be moving towards forming effective treatments that use the brain’s neuroplasticity to create the ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections . The idea that people can learn to pronounce words or do other physical functions after a brain injury that impairs them gives hope that people will soon be able to overcome obstacles that may not have ever been overcome before.

References

Zumbansen, Anna, Pascale Tremblay. (2019) Music-based interventions for aphasia could act through a motor-speech mechanism: a systematic review and case–control analysis of published individual participant data. Aphasiology 33:4, pages 466-497.

Garrett,  B., & Hough, G.  (2018). Brain and  behavior: An introduction to behavioral  neuroscience (5th ed.). Los  Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Patty

I love life and people. I am a daughter, mother, and a grandmother.

4 thoughts on “Aphasias: What is it? Learning after a brain injury looks promising.”

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