Broca’s Area and Function

In the 1800s, a French doctor named Paul Broca studied several patients who had difficulty producing speech. One of these patients was nicknamed “Tan” because ‘tan’ was the only sound he could make; another could only say the words ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ ‘three,’ ‘always,’ and ‘lelo’ (a mispronunciation of his own name). After these patients died, Broca examined their brains and found that they all had lesions (damage) in a specific part of the left inferior frontal lobe.


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Discussion Questions
What part of the brain was damaged?
How did the patient’s behavior or abilities change as a result?
What function do you think this part of the brain is responsible for?

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