ICC student symposium 2013 at the Amsterdam University Colleg...
The ability to communicate with congeners is of vital importance for all animal species. In humans, the most distinctive form of communication takes place by the means of language. The act of communication through language consists of several components, namely listening, speaking, and one that enjoys special status - for the ability to act out the component can only be achieved through deliberate learning: reading. The brain is the general operator behind these components, and different brain areas are thought to be responsible for speech production – the ability that allows us to utter words and complex sentences – and speech perception – the mechanism responsible for the comprehension of the words we hear. In particular, Broca's area is traditionally associated with speech production, whereas Wernicke's area has been linked with speech comprehension. However, recent research has hypothesized that these functions might overlap, in particular conjecturing an involvement of Broca's area during the processing of complex sentences. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been the preferred method to come to this conclusions. The aim of our research is to make use of EEG device to come to a greater understanding of how the processes of (i) listening, and (ii) speaking and reading are divided into these two areas. In particular, we want to challenge the strict binomial relation that associates Broca's area with speech production and Wernicke's area with speech processing. This kind of inquiry may give more insights into language impairments that have been related with lesions in the two areas, e.g. aphasia and auditory agnosia.
The final report of our group can be see here: research report Eta