2Body Size, Brains and Stuff Smaller Body SizeShort lifespanR selectedBrain functions integratedReliance on instinctStimulus bound learningRigid response to environmentLess adaptable to changeShort neurons lead to short reaction timeLarger Body SizeLong lifespan (for learning)K selectedBrain functions specializedReliance on learningTransferable learningFlexible response to environmentMore adaptable to changeLong neurons lead to delayed reaction time
3r and K selection “K” - Chimps care for offspring for 5-7 years “r” - Turtles lay & abandon many eggs
4Animal vs. Human BrainsAnimals have much less cortex (gray matter) and much shorter nerve fibers than humans.The Cortex is where higher brain functions like thinking take place.The non-cortical brain is involved in reflexes and emotional reactions.
6Brain SpecializationOf all animals, only humans and apes have been found to have lateralized brains
7Language Parts of the Brain Wernicke’s AreaReceives speech from primary auditory area and decodes speechBroca’s Areadevelops speech and sends it to the motor cortexGeschwind’s Territoryat the junction of the auditory, visual, and somatosensory cortexesneurons in this lobule can process different kinds of stimuli (auditory, visual, sensorimotor, etc.) simultaneously.doesn’t fully develop until about five years of ageclassifying, labeling, thinking abstractly, forming concepts.Arcuate fasiculusBundle of neurological connections between three areas
11AphasiaTwo forms of Aphasia:GRAMMAR PROBLEMSDamage to Broca’s Area results in the inability to complete grammatically complete sentences.PROBLEMS IN MEANINGDamage to Wernieke’s Area results in speech that has a natural-sounding rhythm and normal grammatical patterns but is meaningless.DEFINITIONis a loss of the ability to produce and/or comprehend language
12How do we know what parts of the Human Brain Control Language? Videos on Damage to Human BrainsPhysical InjuryStroke Patients
14Genes and Language Two links between specific genes and language: 1. The FoxP2 Gene2. ASPM and Microcephalin Genes
15FoxP2Discovered through one family(the “KE” family), half of whom had a defect in that gene and could not speakThe KE family was of Pakistani origin living in BritainIn 37 members in 4 generations, 15 suffered specific language impairment
16FoxP2Patterns of inheritance indicated standard dominant/recessive inheritance, not sex chromosome inheritance.Fox P2n is Located on a short segment of chromosome 7each of us inherits two copies of the FOXP2 gene: one from our mother, and one from our fatherboth copies must be intact for our language functions to be normal.
17FoxP2responsible for producing a protein called a transcription factor.transcription factors bind to DNA molecules to turn other genes off and on.Broca’s area and the caudate nuclei (regulates motor control) are smaller than in normal peopletrouble in identifying some elementary sounds of language,trouble in understanding sentences and using grammar
18ASPM and Microcephalin These genes are associated with increased brain sizeMutations at these sites cause primary microcephaly, a developmental defect with severe reduction in the cerebral cortex—(planning, abstract reasoning and other higher brain functions).Microcephalin was more involved in evolution of primate brain size (prosimians to monkeys)ASPM more involved in late evolutionary step leading to humans.
19ASPM and Microcephalin Both genes are thought to affect brain development.Older versions of these genes are found in tonal language populations. (Half of the world’s language are tonal including many in Asia, Southeast Asia and Sub Saharan Africa).New versions of these genes are found in non-tonal language populations.