Scientists found that the superior temporal sulcus, found somewhere in the center of our brains, can process sounds and speech rhythms.
The human brain and its capacities are all-encompassing, with some of them maintaining a mysterious veil of undiscovered science. To better understand the inner workings of the human’s most prodigious organ, scientists from Duke University in New York conducted a research and came up with the interesting findings.
They discovered exactly the region of the brain that processes the rhythms of speech, allowing understanding for the way individual parts of language sounds are actually perceived and communicated in the brain.
The research was based on using a computer algorithm to chop up and rearrange bits of sounds. As an effect to this sound exposure, they discovered that the superior temporal sulcus (STS) handles the large snippets of sound.
Fragments of environmental sounds and sounds that mimicked speech were also used during the research, to verify the brain activity. The samples were anyhow far from evolved language. They found a difference in reaction for the temporal sulcus to each different sound. This information helped researchers conclude that timing and rhythm of sounds affect the way our brains process them. Research went further with analyzing reaction to language.
The results revealed that we have one part in the brain that specializes in the processing of speech only, without being in charge of handling other sounds.
Studies were done on people who agreed to have their brains scanned while listening to different sounds varying from barking dogs, fireworks or ping-pong. Researchers also exposed participants to words they didn’t understand, in order to observe if the study subjects were reacting differently to speech sounds they cannot recognize as common language.
While the random sounds caused activity in the temporal lobe’s auditory cortex, the speech sounds caused activity in the temporal sulcus that immediately reacted to the sound.
So, speech is a separate and exclusive area processed by a single and specialized portion of the brain. Even the brain is designed to offer more focus on the spoken language than to other ways of sound communication. This is precious insight on the importance of human language and its influence, found even in the most microscopic shapes, hidden deep inside our human brains. Language is a privilege and if the brain treats it as it is, maybe we should make more efforts at least to preserve it if we cannot make it evolve with the art of conversation.
Image Source: neurophysiology.ws