I thought this course was great and really gave me more of an understanding of how our senses and perception operate in the brain. It made me realize how complex the things we do and see in everyday life really are in the brain. Our senses come from different receptors on our body, which allow us to feel and see the world around us. Without such a complex system, our brains would be overloaded by our senses and we would not be able to interpret the world around us. This course showed me how lucky I am to have all of my senses and how one accident or stroke that can lead to brain damage can drastically alter your life.
I found speech perception in the brain most interesting. Paul Broca and Carl Wenicke founded location of speech perception in the brain. They showed that damage to specific areas in the brain causes language problems. These problems are called aphasias. Broca’s Aphasia results from damage to Broca’s area in the frontal lobe. Patients with Broca’s aphasia have lost the ability to produce language. Their speech becomes labored and not fluent. Their words are very broken and can usually only speak in short sentences. Similarly, Patients with damage to Wernicke’s area suffer from Wernicke’s aphasia. These patients can speak fluently but they have much difficulty understanding what others are saying. Their speech comes out fluent but is not meaningful. Most of their speech is disorganized and they hard to understand.
Since I found this most interesting I decided to research aphasia further. I found an article in which researchers assessed the rate of recovery from aphasia after a stroke. Assessment of recovery is important in order to study and manage aphasia. Seventy-five patients with aphasia were studied. They all suffered from damage to their left hemisphere. Nine patients had total or global aphasia, which means almost all speech production and perception is lost. Forty-six patients had Broca’s aphasia, and twenty had Wernicke’s aphasia. Results showed that comprehension usually improved more rapidly than expression but both did improve over time. The greatest improvement is usually over the first three months and the rate of recovery decreases with time. Improvement for Broca’s and Wernicke’s aphasia are similar, but those with global aphasia do not show a promising recovery. (Demeurisse et al., 1980)
Demeurisse, G., Demol, O., Derouck , M., de Beuckelaer, R., Coekaerts, M. J., & Capon, A. (1980). Quantitative study of the rate of recovery from aphasia due to ischemic stroke . Stroke, (11), 455-458. Retrieved from http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/11/5/455.full.pdf html
This video is of a girl named Sarah Scott who suffered from a stroke in 2009. She has Broca’s aphasia but has recovered greatly. This video was less than a year after her stroke -
There are several other videos of her throughout her recovery, but this is the latest video
This video shows a patient who is suffering from Wernicke’s aphasia-
I think the most important thing to gain from learning about aphasia is that suffering from a stroke can greatly alter the rest of your life. The effects of a stroke can be devastating and possibly deadly. These people are lucky enough to still have their lives, but they will suffer for the rest of their lives. Language is everything to us, it keeps us connected and allows us to form relationships. Without language we are unable to communicate and it is impossible to live an independent, successful life without the perception and production of language. The prevention of strokes is important and should be encouraged to everyone.