Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Speech means using both sides of brain

Date:
January 15, 2014
Source:
New York University
Summary:
We use both sides of our brain for speech, a finding by researchers that alters previous conceptions about neurological activity. The results also offer insights into addressing speech-related inhibitions caused by stroke or injury and lay the groundwork for better rehabilitation methods.

We use both sides of our brain for speech, a finding by researchers at New York University and NYU Langone Medical Center that alters previous conceptions about neurological activity. The results, which appear in the journal Nature, also offer insights into addressing speech-related inhibitions caused by stroke or injury and lay the groundwork for better rehabilitation methods.

"Our findings upend what has been universally accepted in the scientific community -- that we use only one side of our brains for speech," says Bijan Pesaran, an associate professor in NYU's Center for Neural Science and the study's senior author. "In addition, now that we have a firmer understanding of how speech is generated, our work toward finding remedies for speech afflictions is much better informed."

Many in the scientific community have posited that both speech and language are lateralized -- that is, we use only one side of our brains for speech, which involves listening and speaking, and language, which involves constructing and understanding sentences. However, the conclusions pertaining to speech generally stem from studies that rely on indirect measurements of brain activity, raising questions about characterizing speech as lateralized.

To address this matter, the researchers directly examined the connection between speech and the neurological process.

Specifically, the study relied on data collected at NYU ECoG , a center where brain activity is recorded directly from patients implanted with specialized electrodes placed directly inside and on the surface of the brain while the patients are performing sensory and cognitive tasks. Here, the researchers examined brain functions of patients suffering from epilepsy by using methods that coincided with their medical treatment.

"Recordings directly from the human brain are a rare opportunity," says Thomas Thesen, director of the NYU ECoG Center and co-author of the study.

"As such, they offer unparalleled spatial and temporal resolution over other imaging technologies to help us achieve a better understanding of complex and uniquely human brain functions, such as language," adds Thesen, an assistant professor at NYU Langone.

In their examination, the researchers tested the parts of the brain that were used during speech. Here, the study's subjects were asked to repeat two "non-words" -- "kig" and "pob." Using non-words as a prompt to gauge neurological activity, the researchers were able to isolate speech from language.

An analysis of brain activity as patients engaged in speech tasks showed that both sides of the brain were used -- that is, speech is, in fact, bi-lateral.

"Now that we have greater insights into the connection between the brain and speech, we can begin to develop new ways to aid those trying to regain the ability to speak after a stroke or injuries resulting in brain damage," observes Pesaran. "With this greater understanding of the speech process, we can retool rehabilitation methods in ways that isolate speech recovery and that don't involve language."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by New York University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gregory B. Cogan, Thomas Thesen, Chad Carlson, Werner Doyle, Orrin Devinsky, Bijan Pesaran. Sensory–motor transformations for speech occur bilaterally. Nature, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nature12935

Cite This Page:

New York University. "Speech means using both sides of brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115132635.htm>.
New York University. (2014, January 15). Speech means using both sides of brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115132635.htm
New York University. "Speech means using both sides of brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140115132635.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins