Language and the Brain

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Language and the brain Many people assume the physical basis of language lies in the lips, the tongue, or the ear. But deaf and mute people can also possess language fully. People who have no capacity to use their vocal cords may still be able to comprehend language and use its written forms. And human sign language, which is based on visible gesture rather than the creation of sound waves, is an infinitely creative system just like spoken forms of language. But the basis of sign language is not in the hand, just as spoken language is not based in the lips or tongue. There are many examples of aphasics who lose both the ability to write as well as to express themselves using sign-language, yet they never lose manual dexterity in…show more content…
Nearly 98% of aphasia cases can be traced to damage in the perisylvian area of the left hemisphere of the cerebral cortex. Remember, however, that in the occasional individual language is localized elsewhere; and in children language is not yet fully localized. SUMMARY Let's sum up three important facts about language and brain. First, humans are born with the innate capacity to acquire the extremely complex, creative system of communication that we call language. We are born with a language instinct, which Chomsky calls the LAD (language acquisition device). This language aptitude is completely different from inborn reflex responses to stimuli as laughter, sneezing, or crying. The language instinct seems to be a uniquely human genetic endowment: nearly all children exposed to language naturally acquire language almost as if by magic. Only in rare cases are children born without this magical ability to absorb abstract syntactic patterns from their environment. These children are said to suffer from Specific Language Impairment, or SLI. It is thought that SLI is caused by a mutant gene which disrupts the LAD. The LAD itself, of course, is probably the result of the complex interaction of many genes--not just one--and the malfunction of some single key gene simply short-circuits the system. For example, a faulty carburetor wire may prevent an engine from running, but the engine is more than a single carburetor wire. Many
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