Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Broca´s Area

Broca's area is a region of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for speech production. The Broca's area was named after the French Physician Paul Pierre Broca, who discovered that this area of the cerebrum is specilized in speech production. The deficit in language production as a result of damage to this region is called Broca’s aphasia. Broca’s area is now typically defined in terms of the pars opercularis and pars triangularis of the inferior frontal gyrus, represented in Brodmann’s cytoarchitectonic map as areas 44 and 45. Studies of chronic aphasia led to the realization of the essential role of Broca’s area in various speech and language functions.

Broca’s area in the left hemisphere and its homologue in the right hemisphere receive more afferent connections from prefrontal cortex, the superior temporal gyrus, and the superior temporal sulcus. It is connected to the Wernicke’s area of the brain by the arcuate fasciculus, which is a pathway made of neurons. Broca´s area is made up of two primary parts: the Pars triangularis and the Pars opercularis. The Pars triangularis is situated in the anterior portion of Broca's area, while the Pars opercularis is located in the posterior region of Broca's area.