Broca's Region

Yosef Grodzinsky*, Katrin Amunts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

Broca's region has been in the news ever since scientists realized that particular cognitive functions could be localized to parts of the cerebral cortex. Its discoverer, Paul Broca, was one of the first researchers to argue for a direct connection between a concrete behavior-in this case, the use of language-and a specific cortical region. Today, Broca's region is perhaps the most famous part of the human brain, and for over a century, has persisted as the focus of intense research and numerous debates. The name has even penetrated mainstream culture through popular science and the theater. Broca's region is famous for a good reason: As language is one of the most distinctive human traits, the cognitive mechanisms that support it and the tissues in which these mechanisms are housed are also quite complex, and so have the potential to reveal a lot not only about how words, phrases, sentences, and grammatical rules are instantiated in neural tissue, but also, and more broadly, about how brain function relates to behavior. Paul Broca's discoveries were an important, driving force behind the more general effort to relate complex behavior to particular parts of the cerebral cortex, which, significantly, produced the first brain maps.

Original languageAmerican English
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages436
ISBN (Electronic)9780199864799
ISBN (Print)0195177649, 9780195177640
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2006 by Yosef Grodzinsky and Katrin Amunts. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Brain function
  • Cerebral cortex
  • Cognitive mechanisms
  • Language
  • Neural tissue
  • Paul Broca

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