Speech processing requires both sides of our brain

A new study by Cogan et al proposes that speech processes occur on both sides of the brain and are distinct from language, which occurs on one side, typically on the left. This suggests a revision to the standard model of how speech is linked to language with some processes going through a "bilateral sensory-motor interface". Credit: Greg Cogan and Bijan Pesaran

A new study by Cogan et al proposes that speech processes occur on both sides of the brain and are distinct from language, which occurs on one side, typically on the left. This suggests a revision to the standard model of how speech is linked to language with some processes going through a “bilateral sensory-motor interface”. Credit: Greg Cogan and Bijan Pesaran

A new study has found that we use both sides of our brain for speech, a finding that alters previous conceptions about neurological activity. The results, which appear in the journal Nature, also offer insights into addressing speech-related inhibitions caused by stroke or injury and lay the groundwork for better rehabilitation methods.

The study’s senior author, Bijan Pesaran, an associate professor in New York University’s Center for Neural Science, said:

Our findings upend what has been universally accepted in the scientific community—that we use only one side of our brains for speech. With this greater understanding of the speech process, we can retool rehabilitation methods in ways that isolate speech recovery and that don’t involve language.

Read more: Sensory–motor transformations for speech occur bilaterally

 

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