The speech center in our brain is most commonly known as the ‘Broca’s Area’. In right-handed people, the left hemisphere of the brain has the parietal lobe in it. The speech center lies in this parietal lobe. In most left-handed people also this lies in the left hemisphere but not in all. The Broca’s motor speech area is responsible for controlling the motor activities of all anatomic structures. It is named after a French Surgeon and Anatomist by name Pierre Paul Broca (1824-80). He carried out extensive studies about our brain. The movements of the lips, jaws and tongue is possible by the motor nerves. Pierre Paul Broca identified the Broca’s area in 1865 by autopsying brains. Most research was carried on with animals who never talk.
The center for the language recognition is situated in the right hemisphere. One who loses speech activities may be capable of understanding what is being spoken to him and vice versa. This condition is named as Aphasia. The person is capable of understanding speech (and writing in few cases) but unable to talk.
Damage to the speech centers results in the three speech disorders – Aphasia, Dysarthria and Dysphonia. Any weakness in the muscles responsible for the production of speech cause defect in the articulation and rhythm of speech. This is termed as Dysarthria. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Myasthenia Gravis are two other diseases associated with muscle weakness defects. A brain tumor or some non-neurological factor may lead to hoarseness in the voice. This is called Dysphonia. Aphasia can be of two types – Motor Aphasia (inability to express thoughts, neither in speech or writing) and Sensory Aphasia (inability to understand speech nor read).
An infant is born with the ability to learn but not to speak. Speaking is inherent in all human species. The basic language of communication is passed to the children at a very young age. he learns speaking very easily from his surrounding, his family and peers. Since then he keeps adding to his list of vocabulary. The additions is due to the exposure to education and experience.
The exact site of the problem and the healthy regions are well analyzed before performing any treatment.