The Brain (Its Perception and Thought Processes) and how They Affect Language

The Brain (Its Perception and Thought Processes) and how They Affect Language

The brain is the seat of all the body’s functions and processes. It controls thought, the senses, movement, language, perception, bodily processes and even growth. It consumes most of the body’s energy and indeed, most of its available oxygen. It is the command center of the human body. The human brain has the same basic structure as other mammalian brains, but is larger in relation to body size (at 2% body mass). The largest part of the human brain is the cerebrum, which is divided into two hemispheres. Underneath lies the brainstem, and behind that sits the cerebellum. The outermost layer of the cerebrum is the cerebral cortex, which consists of four lobes: the frontal lobe, the parietal lobe, the temporal lobe and the occipital lobe. Here are some facts about the human brain:

  • The human brain is the largest brain of all vertebrates relative to body size
  • It weighs about 3.3 lbs. (1.5 kilograms)
  • The brain makes up about 2 percent of a human’s body weight
  • The cerebrum makes up 85 percent of the brain’s weight
  • It contains about 86 billion nerve cells (neurons) — the “gray matter”
  • It contains billions of nerve fibers (axons and dendrites) — the “white matter”
  • These neurons are connected by trillions of connections, or synapses

Language is ever present with human life. We hear it from the moment we wake up to the moment we sleep and it affects the way we think, feeds our memory and affects the way we act, in turn. Amazingly, humans have evolved the most complex and intelligent form of communication in the form of communication; language. Understanding the unique human skill of language has led scientists to take deeper looks into the brain, seeking to identify the areas that are stimulated when we speak language, listen to it or write it.

Our breakthroughs in the study of links between the human brain and language have led us to identify various disorders and how they are connected to our brains and thought processes. We have also made numerous breakthrough in the study of language using cues from other parts of the animal kingdom.

Aphasia: How do you Literally Lose Your words?

Always the disorder to be associated with many puns, one of which is being “literally at a loss for words”, Aphasia is just as the pun describes it (and best believe, just as serious). You see, there is a very precise, delicate intertwine of neural networks that if disrupted, could cause this disorder. It is caused, in short, by injury to the language parts of the brain.

This disorder usually impairs a person’s ability to use and understand words (which as is known, are the building blocks of language). One thing to note though, is that aphasia doesn’t impair the individual’s intelligence at all. These peoples’ problems range from using numbers to reading and comprehending words to even understanding conversation.

The causes of Aphasia are numerous but it usually boils down to a stroke or brain damage to one or more parts of the brain that are involved with language. The National Aphasia association puts the number of stroke survivors that end up with aphasia at about 32.5%. Some of the types of Aphasia are Expressive Aphasia, Receptive Aphasia, Anomic Aphasia, Global Aphasia and primary progressive Aphasia.

How This special Font is Helping People with Dyslexia

What is Dyslexia? Well it is a language based learning disability. It manifests itself as a cluster of symptoms and these results in people having difficulties with specific language faculties ie reading. People suffering from Dyslexia usually experience difficulties with both oral and written language skills, including the writing and pronunciation of words. Although it affects individuals throughout their lives, its impact and severity changes through the different stages of the individual’s maturity.

Recent developments have seen a breakthrough in how Dyslexia (however untreatable) is managed. One particular discovery in particular has been nothing but instrumental is the discovery of a new font. Named “Dyslexie”, the font is completely different from others, incorporating a bottom-heavy design, extra spacing and taller lines, it seeks to help dyslexic readers distinguish one letter from the other. And it works. Since some letters look like others (V and U) and some are just identical warped versions of each other (b and d), the Dyslexie font striking a clear distinction between these characters should do the trick.

The font worked so well that traffic to the founder Christian Boer’s website spiked.

Can a Person Literally Wake up with a New Accent?

A good few of us might already have read newspaper articles or university papers on how people have been found to suddenly begin to speak with a different accent from their normal one. It’s a real thing. It is called foreign accent syndrome and it is a very rare condition that alters the speech centres of the brain. The result is then altered speech patterns that make it like the individual is speaking with a foreign accent.

Mini FAQ’s

Does the individual with foreign accent syndrome know they are speaking differently?

How does Aphasia manifest itself in old age?

Do dyslexics only jumble up letters and words or are there other elements to it?

Is there a genetic factor to Aphasia?

What parts of the brain are responsible for speech and language?

 

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