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Chapter Two


Anomia A form of aphasia in which patients have word-finding difficulties.
Aphasia Language loss or disorders caused by disease or trauma.
Cortex The approximately ten billion neurons that form the outside surface of the brain; also referred to as gray matter.
Critical Age Hypothesis The theory that states that there is a window of time between early childhood and puberty for learning a first language, and beyond which first language acquisition is almost always incomplete.
Lateralization Term used to refer to any cognitive function localized primarily on one or the other side of the brain. Language is __________ to the left hemisphere.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) AND Computed Temography (CT) A technique to investigate the molecular structures in human organs including the brain, which may be used to identify sites of brain lesions.
Neurolinguistics The branch of linguistics concerned with the brain mechanisms that underlie the acquisition and use of human language; the study of the neurobiology of language.
Positron-emission Tomograpy (PET) AND fMRI Method to detect changes in brain activities and relate these changes to localized brain damage and cognitive tasks.
Savant Individual who shows special ablilities in one cognitive area while being deficient in others. Linguistic _________ have extraordinary language abilities but are deficient in general intelligence.
Specific Language Impairment (SLI) Difficulty in acquiring language faced by certain children with no other cognative deficits. Problems with the function words.
Cerebral Hemispheres The brain is composed of two parts; one on the right, one on the left.
Corpus Callosum Joins the cerebral hemispheres and allows them to communicate with each other. Without this network of two million fibers, the two hemispheres wold function independently.
Contralateral Brain Function In general, the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body, and the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body. This is the same for sensory information.
Localization The theory proposed by Franz Joseph Gall that different human cognative abilities and behaviors are localized in specific parts of the brain.
Phrenology Psuedoscientific theory by Franz Joseph Gall. The practice of determining personality traits, intellectual capacities, and other matters by examining the bumps on the skull. Galls disciple, Johann Spurzheim, introduced it to the United States.
Paul Broca--Broca's Area Proposed that language is localized to the left hemisphere of the brain, and more specifically to the front part of the left hemisphere.
Carl Wernick--Wernick's Area Described another variety of aphasia that occured in the patients with lesions in rear portions of the left hemisphere.
Broca's Aphasia AKA agrammatical aphasia. Characterized by labored speech and certain kinds of word finding difficulties. Primarily a disorder that affects the persons ability to form sentences with the rules of syntax.
Agrammatic Language that frequently lacks articles, prepositions, pronouns, and auxilery verbs, AKA function words.
Wernick's Aphasia Have fluent speech, may follow rules of syntax although their language is often semantically incoherent. Often have difficulty naming objects and also in choosing words in spontaneous speech. Many word substitutions, jargon and nonsense words.
Jargon Aphasia Severe Wernick's aphasia.
Tip of the Tongue Phenomenon (TOT) Rarely being able to find the words wanted.
Valerius Maximus In 30 b.c.e. The roman writer describes an Athenian who was unable to remember his "letters" after being hit in the head with a stone.
PET and fMRI Allow us measure metabolic activity to particular areas of the brain.
Magnetic Encephalography (MEG) Measures magnetic fields in the living brain.
Hemispherectomy A hemisphere of the brain is surgically removed, used to treat bad cases of epilepsy.
Split-Brain The corpus callosum is severed, disconnecting the two hemispheres.
Dichotic Listening An experimental technique that uses auditory signals to observe the behavior of the individual hemispheres of the human brain and provides strong evidence of lateralization.
Ipislateral Referring to the same-side of the brain.
Event-Related Brain Potentials (ERP's) (Experiment using electrical activity) Measures the electrical signals emitted from the brain in response to different stimuli (events). Also show variations in timing, pattern, and area of response when subjects hear sentences that are meaningless.
The Monogenic Theory of Language Origin The belief that all languages originated from a single source.
Plato's 'Cratylus' The earliest surviving linguistic treatise that deals with the origin and nature of language.
Bow-Wow Theory Despite all evidence to the contrary, the idea that the earliest form of language was imitative, or echoic, was proposed up to the 20th century. It claimed that a dog would be disgnated by the word 'Bow-Wow' because of the sounds of it's bark.
Pidgin (loosely) any simplified or broken form of a language, esp. when used for communication between speakers of different languages.
Created by: nipper