• Question: suzi, what is the difference between wernickes area and broncas area? :)

    Asked by drstilesjlstermerrygold98 to Damien, Rachael, Simon, Suzi, Tim on 22 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by harrikj.
    • Photo: Suzi Gage

      Suzi Gage answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      Hi @drstiles!
      If this is for me, why have you asked everyone?! 🙂

      Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area are both involved in language. When I was a student studying for my MSc in Cognitive Neuropsychology (what a title) I did a project looking at people who had brain damage in either Broca’s or Wernicke’s area. The people with damage in Broca’s area had a disorder called ‘progressive non fluent aphasia’ and they couldn’t remember action words (dancing, singing, that sort of thing). The people with damage to Wernicke’s area had a disorder called ‘semantic dementia’ and they could remember the action words fine, but couldn’t remember the names for things.

      This suggests Wernicke’s area is involved in storing the names for things, and Broca’s area is involved in storing the words to describe actions.

      There are other differences between the two though, this is just what I found with my project.

      Hope this answers your question, let me know if you want more info.

    • Photo: Damien Hall

      Damien Hall answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      Sorry to butt in, but it was asked to everyone!

      The things Suzi’s described mean that, when Broca’s area is damaged, people can get the kind of aphasia that means they can’t really speak fluently; and, when Wernicke’s area is damaged, they get the kind of aphasia that means they speak fluent nonsense. (Lots of speech disorders are called (different types of) aphasia, which means “non-speaking”, from Ancient Greek.)