The Brain and Language, Personal Memory, and Self-Awareness

Topics: Psychology, Human evolution, Human Pages: 4 (1454 words) Published: December 1, 2012
Sahan Ratnayake

Development of Language and its influence on self-awarness, personal memory, and higher emotion.

Language is defined as the system of linguistic signs or symbols considered in the abstract. Language is purely a human concept. Though it is used by many animals on the planet, no other animal uses language to the extent or complexity as humans do. This is in part to the larger brain size of humans as opposed to animals. Our closest animal relative, the chimpanzee, has a brain size of around 400cc, while humans have a brain that weighs around 1300cc. This larger brain, as allowed humans to use language more efficiently to achieve its goals. With the development of language rose the characteristics that make us human: self-awareness, higher emotion, and personal memory.

Though it is impossible to determine when language arose, it has been theorized that the growth of language coincided with the increase in brain volume. The brain is the control system of the body. All aspects of human behavior, language, reflexes, emotions, memory, are controlled by separate structure of the brain. Within these structures are billions of neurons, specialized cells that transmit information throughout the brain in the form of electrical signals. The brain is split into two hemispheres, the left hemisphere controlling the activities of the right side, and the right hemisphere controlling the activities of the left side. Regarding language, it was discovered that the left hemisphere of the brain is largely responsible for controlling language. More specifically, the outer surface of the central hemisphere, the cortex, is regarded as the center of human speech and language processing. Two structure of the cortex, Broca’s and Wernicke’s are responsible for speech production and understanding of written and spoken language, respectively.

The development of language isn’t due solely to a larger brain, but also to genes and the physiological anatomy of humans....
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