Language And Speech Processing Throughout Modern Humans Essay

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The ability of speech and language processing has always been a defining factor in what makes humans unique, especially from their closest living relative primates. This paper will analyze the differences in modern human brain structure and the common chimpanzee brain structure (pan troglodytes) in regards to the language and speech function. Language and speech processing in modern humans will focus on two parts of the cerebral cortex: Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area, which is responsible for generating speech and language and receiving speech and language respectively. Broca’s area will be analyzed by the two parts it is made up of: Brodmann area 44, associated mainly with phonological tasks and Brodmann area 45, associated mainly with semantic processing. Wernicke’s area receives and interprets speech and language and is shown to be connected to Broca’s area by a neuronal tract known as the arcuate fasciculus. The structure of the common chimpanzee brain is shown to have homologous structures to Broca’s and Wernicke’s area in modern humans, but is significantly smaller, and is unable to perform the same developed functions as modern humans in regards to language and speech, but is much more limited and simplified. Speech and language are key components that distinguish modern humans from their close relatives primates. In the modern human brain, located on the frontal lobe, is the motor cortex or strip that regulates the facial and oral muscles. They include the tongue,
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