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Functional neuroanatomy of language and its disorders

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1 Functional neuroanatomy of language and its disorders
A Concise Overview By: Shimon Neuman

2 Terminology Inferior Superior Posterior Anterior

3 Terminology Parietal Lobe Frontal Lobe Occipital Lobe Temporal Lobe

4 Broca’s Area Wernicke’s Area

5 Accessing the semantic properties of the words
Planning the message Accessing the semantic properties of the words Accessing the phonologic properties of the words Accessing the sensory and motor properties of the words Grammar Preparing the phonology Motor Planning Articulation (Rohrer et al., 2007)

6 Occurs in the prefrontal cortex.
Planning the message Occurs in the prefrontal cortex. What can go wrong? Dynamic Aphasia: inability to plan a message. In its pure form no other area of language production or comprehension is impaired. (Robinson, Blair, & Cipolotti, 1998)

7 Accessing the concepts
Occurs in the middle and inferior temporal gyri. What can go wrong? Semantic Dementia: inability to access semantic data. (Semantic memory loss) Transcortical sensory aphasia: compromised naming and comprehension skills. (Hickok, 2009; Rohrer et al., 2007)

8 Accessing the phonologic properties of the words
Occurs posterior superior temporal sulcus and middle temporal gyrus. What can go wrong? Transcortical sensory aphasia: Naming and auditory comprehension is compromised (Gow, 2012)

9 Accessing the sensory and motor properties of the words
Occurs in the inferior parietal region including the supramarginal gyrus. What can go wrong? Wernicke's aphasia: Difficulty understanding and producing meaningful language (Gow, 2012; Rohrer et el,. 2007)

10 Transferring to the Frontal Lobe
What can go wrong? Anomic Aphasia: Difficulty retrieving words. In its pure form no other aspect of language is compromised. (Fridriksson, Kjartansson, Morgan, Hjaltason, & Magnusdottir, 2010) The arcuate fasciculus (red and green in MRI image top and schematic bottom) connects the temporal lobe to the frontal lobe. (Rilling & Glasser, 2008)

11 Accessing the correct grammar
Occurs in the inferior posterior frontal gyrus (Broca’s area.) What can go wrong? Non fluent aphasia: Inability to produce fluent speech. (Broca, 1861)

12 Preparing and organizing the phonology
Occurs in the inferior posterior frontal gyrus (Broca’s area.) What can go wrong? Non fluent aphasia: Inability to produce fluent speech. (Broca, 1861)

13 Non fluent aphasia: Inability to produce fluent speech.
Motor planning Occurs in: Broca’s area Left insula Subcortical Regions What can go wrong? Non fluent aphasia: Inability to produce fluent speech. (Ogar, Slama, Dronkers, Amici, & Gorno-Tempini, 2005; Beal, 2005)

14 Executing the articulation Involves the motor neuron tract.
What can go wrong? Ataxic dysarthria Hyperkinetic dysarthria Hypokinetic dysarthria Spastic dysarthria Flaccid dysarthria (McCaffrey, 1999)

15 Effects the cerebellar Symptoms:
Ataxic dysarthria Effects the cerebellar Symptoms: Articulation: Irregular articulatory breakdowns. Irregular speech alternating motion rate (AMR). Distorted vowels Prosody: Excess and equal stress Excess loudness variations Responsible for: Fine Movement Coordination Muscle Tone (McCaffrey, 1999; "Mixed Dysarthria," n.d.)

16 Hyperkinetic dysarthria
Effects the Extrapyramidal tract, specifically the basal ganglia Symptoms: Respiration: Audible inspiration Sudden forced inspiration Phonation: Harsh voice Voice tremor Shortness of breath Articulation: Distorted vowels Irregular articulatory breakdowns Slow/irregular AMRs Resonance: Intermittent hypernasality Prosody: Inappropriate silences Excessive loudness variations variable patterns of stress and rate Responsible for: involuntary reflexes and movement (McCaffrey, 1999; "Mixed Dysarthria," n.d.)

17 Effects the Substantia nigra
Hypokinetic dysarthria Effects the Substantia nigra Symptoms: Respiration: Decreased vital capacity Shallow breathing Uncoordinated chest/diaphragm Phonation: Harsh & breathy voice Periods of dysphonia   Articulation: Distorted & incorrect production of phonemes Incorrect consonant blending Palilalia Replacing stops with fricatives Resonance: Minimal hypernasality Prosody: Monopitch Monoloudness Reduced stress Inappropriate silences Variable rate Responsible for: Control of voluntary Movement (McCaffrey, 1999; "Mixed Dysarthria," n.d.)

18 Strained-strangled vocal quality Low pitch Harshness Pitch breaks
Spastic dysarthria Effects the pyramidal tract Symptoms: Phonation: Breathy voice Strained-strangled vocal quality Low pitch Harshness Pitch breaks Articulation: Imprecise consonants Slow rate Short phrases Distorted vowels Resonance: Hypernasality Prosody: Reduced, excess, & equal stress Monoloudness Monopitch Responsible for: Transmission of voluntary Movement (McCaffrey, 1999; "Mixed Dysarthria," n.d.)

19 Effects motor units of cranial or spinal nerves
Flaccid dysarthria Effects motor units of cranial or spinal nerves Symptoms: Phonation: Breathy & harsh voice Audible inspiration Short phrases Articulation: Imprecise consonants Resonance: Hypernasality Prosody: Monoloudness Monopitch Responsible for: Transmission of voluntary Movement (McCaffrey, 1999; "Mixed Dysarthria," n.d.)

20 References Beal, J. A. (2005, November 30). Frontal (Coronal) section of the brain [Photograph]. Retrieved from Broca, P. P. (1861). Loss of speech, chronic softening and partial destruction of the anterior left lobe of the brain. Bulletin de la Société Anthropologique, 2, Fridriksson, J., Kjartansson, O., Morgan, P. S., Hjaltason, H., & Magnusdottir, S. (2010). Impaired speech repetition and left parietal lobe damage. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30(33), Gow, D. W., Jr. (2012). The cortical organization of lexical knowledge: A dual lexicon model of spoken language processing. Brain Language, 121(3),

21 References Hickok, G. (2009). The functional neuroanatomy of language. Physics of Life Reviews, 6(3), McCaffrey, P. (1999). Dysarthria at a glance [Fact sheet]. Retrieved June 10, 2013, from Mixed dysarthria. (n.d.). Retrieved June 10, 2013, from Ogar, J., Slama, H., Dronkers, N., Amici, S., & Gorno-Tempini, M. L. (2005). Apraxia of speech: An overview. Neurocase, 11, Rilling, J., & Glasser, M. (2008, March 24). Wired for language. Retrieved June 10, 2013, from

22 References Robinson, G., Blair, J., & Cipolotti, L. (1998). Dynamic aphasia: an inability to select between competing verbal responses? Brain, 121(1), Rohrer, J. D., Knight, W. D., Warren, J. E., Fox, N. C., Rossor, M. N., & Warren, J. D. (2007). Word-finding difficulty: a clinical analysis of the progressive aphasias. Brain, 131(1), Stem Cell Treatment. (n.d.). Motor neuron tract [Photograph]. Retrieved from

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