Term Paper: Memory and Language Semantic

Pages: 3 (1018 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Communication - Language  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] The primary motor cortex send this message to these muscles and the response is articulated (Poeppel & Hickok, 2004). While the Wernicke -- Geschwind model has been popular for many years, with the advent of neuroimaging it is been discovered that multiple areas of the brain are activated during language production and not just the areas in this particular model. Moreover, patients with certain types of aphasia can have variable damage in the brain not specifically in these language production and language reception areas identified by the model (Poeppel & Hickok, 2004). Nonetheless, this model of language comprehension and language expression remains popular.

One interesting proposition regarding the Wernicke-Geschwind model is the notion of mentalese. Psycholinguists have proposed that some form of mentalese, a mental representation system different from language but that is translated into linguistic form in the brain, exists. However, there is little evidence or agreement as to the properties of this form of pre-linguistic mental representation (Dudai, 2007; Poeppel & Hickok, 2004).

Certainly some form of neural representation for language must exist. The stages of language production are similar to the serial method theories of the acquisition of declarative memories (especially semantic memory). Because semantic memories must somehow be represented in some formal neural code and since semantic memories are a form of declarative memory (e.g., they can be explicitly stated with language), it would follow that semantic memories are stored in the brain similar to linguistic codes and language representations. According to Dudai (2007) the serial model for semantic memory begins with paying attention to some to -- be -- remembered information (this model also received initial support via the study of patients with bran damage). After attending to it one must encode the information (this is typically considered to be a function of the hippocampus in the left temporal lobe). Consolidation and encoding are often achieved by some form of rehearsal. Following sufficient encoding the information is stored in areas of association cortex in some form of neural code. When one wishes to recall the memory it must be retrieved from its storage site in the brain and then translated into language code. The encoding -- storage/consolidation -- retrieval model parallels the Wernicke -- Geschwind model of language production. Just what the neural code is and how this is represented in the brain remains a mystery.


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