Biological The Brain Gazzaniga Wernicke




  1. Outline findings

Broca's research suggests that:
  • An area in the rear area of the left frontal lobe of the brain is responsible for the "motor" aspect of speech. This area was named "Broca's area"
  • Damage to Broca's area in a loss of the ability to speak in an articulate manner.
Broca asserted that these findings support the concept of localization of function in the brain.

  1. Evaluate:
  • Findings
    • Broca's findings were an important basis for future studies concerning localization.
    • Pioneering first widely published research about localization of brain functions.
    • Offers a good idea of localization in the brain, however was later proven to be somewhat simplistic and limited. For example, later research has shown that damage to Broca's area results only in a temporary loss of speech.
    • Also, the area considered by Broca to be crucial to motor speech is not exactly the same area that's called "Broca's area" today.

  • Methods of research:
    • Broca did most of his research through observation, beginning with the autopsy of one of his patients who had lost the ability to speak. Closer examination of this patient's brain showed lesions and "a chronic and progressive softening" centered around the third frontal convolution (or "convex fold on the surface of the brain") of the left hemisphere. Broca studied this patient prior to and after his death with the intention of researching a link between this patient's dysfunctionality and a possible physical cause in the brain.
    • A strength of Broca's research method would be the consistency of his observations of the symptoms with physical damage in the brain. Broca was able to observe the brains of several patients with similar disabilities, and find damage to a particular area of the brain each time.
    • Weaknesses of Broca's research method: findings are not necessarily replicable (case study with "Tan"): there may be other factors within the individual affecting behavior.


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