May 2, 2008
Language in the brain is processed in the temporal lobes. These are on the sides of your brain, next to you temples.
Different areas in the temporal lobe (mostly on the left side of your brain) deal with different aspects of language. For instance, the Wernicke area is the one that allows you to understand words. The Broca area, on the other hand, is the one that allows you to produce language or articulate words.
Damage to Wernicke’s area causes Wernicke’s aphasia, a condition in which people can hear language being spoken, but cannot understand it. Damage to Broca’s area causes Broca’s aphasia, a condition in which people have trouble producing language.
Below you will find a brain exercise that targets the neurons in your language areas. When to try to solve the problems, words (i.e., neurons and groups of neurons) in your left temporal lobe will be activated, electrical and chemical signals will travel from neuron to neuron. This stimulation is crucial for good brain health!
Ready to stimulate neurons in your temporal lobe?
Read each definition and try to find the corresponding words. (Answers appear below).
_________________ = A plant having a permanently woody main stem, usually growing to a high height, and developing branches at some distance from the ground.
_________________ = A large, usually tawny-yellow cat, native to Africa and southern Asia, having a tufted tail.
_________________ = The nutritious, orange to yellow root of a plant of the parsley family.
_________________ = An article of furniture consisting of a flat top supported on one or more legs.
_________________ = An institution where instruction is given.
_________________ = A moving cage for carrying passengers from one level to another.
_________________ = A device for transmission of sound or speech to a distant point
_________________ = a body of water of considerable size, surrounded by land.
_________________ = A domestic fowl bred for its flesh, eggs, and feathers.
_________________ = A shallow, usually circular dish from which food is eaten.
_________________ = A precipitation in the form of ice crystals.
_________________ = Any circulating medium of exchange
— This article was written by Pascale Michelon, Ph. D., for SharpBrains.com. Copyright 2008. Dr. Michelon has a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and has worked as a Research Scientist at Washington University in Saint Louis, in the Psychology Department. She conducted several research projects to understand how the brain makes use of visual information and memorizes facts. She is now an Adjunct Faculty at Washington University, and teaches Memory Workshops in numerous retirement communities in the St Louis area.