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Wernicke's area

Brain: Wernicke's area
Approximate location of Wernicke's area highlighted in gray
NeuroNames ancil-252
Dorlands/Elsevier a_59/12151778

Wernicke's area is a part of the human brain that forms part of the cortex, on the posterior section of the superior temporal gyrus, encircling the auditory cortex, on the Sylvian fissure (part of the brain where the temporal lobe and parietal lobe meet). It can also be described as the posterior part of Brodmann area 22, and, for most people, it is located in the left hemisphere, as the left hemisphere is specialized for language skills. Occlusion of the middle cerebral artery in a stroke can affect the proper functioning of this area.

Wernicke's area is named after Karl Wernicke, a German neurologist and psychiatrist who, in 1874, discovered that damage to this area could cause a type of aphasia that is now called Wernicke's aphasia or receptive aphasia.

This condition results in an impairment of language comprehension and in speech that has a natural-sounding rhythm and a relatively normal syntax, but otherwise has no recognisable meaning (a condition sometimes called fluent or jargon aphasia).

Wernicke's work initiated the study of this brain area and its role in language. It is particularly known to be involved in the understanding and comprehension of spoken language.

It is connected to Broca's area via the arcuate fasciculus, a neural pathway. It also has connections to the primary auditory cortex, evidence for its role in the comprehension of the spoken words.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Wernicke's_area". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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