Navigation Links
Rice psychologist identifies area of brain key to choosing words

New research by a Rice University psychologist clearly identifies the parts of the brain involved in the process of choosing appropriate words during speech.

The study, published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help researchers better understand the speech problems that stroke patients experience.

When speaking, a person must select one word from a competing set of words. For example, if the speaker wants to mention a specific animal, he has to single out "dog" from "cat," "horse" and other possibilities. If he wants to describe someone's temperament, he has to choose whether "happy," "sad," "ecstatic" or some other adjective is more appropriate.

Tatiana Schnur, assistant professor of psychology at Rice, wanted to determine whether one particular part of the brain, the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG), is necessary for resolving the competition for choosing the correct word.

She and her colleagues compared brain images from 16 healthy volunteers and 12 volunteers who suffer from aphasia, an acquired language disorder as a result of stroke. People who have aphasia frequently experience difficulty with speech.

The researchers found that while two parts of the brain, the LIFG and the left temporal cortex, respond to increased conflict among words competing for selection during speech, only the LIFG is necessary to resolve the competition for successful word production. The LIFG includes Broca's area, named after the 19th-century French scientist Paul Pierre Broca. It is responsible for aspects of speech production, language processing and language comprehension.

The study covered two experiments where people name a series of images and conflict between words increases as more images are named. In the first experiment, healthy speakers' brain activations were measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The second experiment mapped performance deficits to lesion locations in participants with aphasia.

By looking at direct parallels between the healthy and aphasic volunteers, Schnur and colleagues coupled location in the brain with specific speech processes. The research found that the ability of aphasic speakers "to resolve competition that arises in the course of language processing appears to depend on the integrity of the LIFG." This result could open an exciting line of research, as damage to this mechanism may explain the hesitant, nonfluent speech exhibited by those described as Broca's aphasics.

The study, "Localizing Interference During Naming: Convergent Neuroimaging and Neuropsychological Evidence for the Function of Broca's Area," was funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Contact: David Ruth
Rice University

Related medicine news :

1. Latino Psychologist Appointed to Mental Health Post in Commonwealth
2. Psychologists report that a gender gap in spatial skills starts in infancy
3. K-State Psychologist Studies Ways to Improve Soldiers Work-Life Relationship
4. Stress Spikes as Economy Tanks - Psychologist Identifies Why Traditional Stress Management Techniques Dont Work, and Offers Radical New Approach
5. Los Angeles Psychologist to Help CDC Fight Child Abuse
6. Psychologist poses new hand-eye relationship
7. Dr. Jerry Weichman, Orange County Teen Psychologist and Parenting Expert, Publishes Book to Teach Teens How to Deal
8. Author & Radio Host Tim Kellis Charges Psychologists Who Write Relationship Books are Helping to Spawn a Divorce Industry
9. Autism Author and Psychologist Dr. Jed Baker to Speak on Communication Disorders
10. Psychologist develops post-operative care for heart patients in Bermuda
11. HOW TO UNSPOIL YOUR CHILD FAST: Harvard Medical School Psychologist Writes Book to Guide and Motivate Parents and Support the Childrens Defense Fund
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The print component of “Supporting Our Caregivers” ... New York, Minneapolis, South Florida, with a circulation of approximately 250,000 copies and ... vast social media strategy and across a network of top news sites and ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... A simply groundbreaking television series, "Voices in America", which is ... an array of issues that are presently affecting Americans. Dedicated to providing the world ... is changing the subjects consumers focus on, one episode at a time. , ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Rosa, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... Northern California Medical Associates, Inc. and Dr. Tucker Bierbaum with Emergency Medicine at ... meeting. They observed that both STEMI and Sepsis conditions present in similar ways and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ON (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... of a real-time eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using ... BMD and Nuclear Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) without ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... process, participated in the 61st annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits Conference ... Sunday, November 8th through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The conference was held at ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ... Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging ... --> --> This ... the Italian therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 ... has announced the addition of the  ... in the European Cell Surface Marker ... Emerging Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- The total global healthcare industry is expected to grow at ... America has the highest projected growth at 12.7%, ... ), is second with growth projected at 11.5%. ... expenditure. In 2013-2014, total government funded healthcare was nearly 68%. ... 41.2% in 2013-2014. In real terms, out of pocket expenditure ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: