Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wernicke's Aphasia

Somehow today i remembered something which was covered only briefly but definitely included on the final test for my Linguistics 390 course: Wernicke's Aphasia.

This is a condition caused by damage to the Wernicke's Area of the cerebral cortex. Patients who suffer from this condition are able to speak fluently but will insert incorrect or nonexistent words into their sentences. The inclusion of these words varies from a few words here and there all the way to most of the sentence.

It's both sad and fascinating to hear people with this condition. To think that our wires can get crossed so simply and all of our language can turn into something nobody can understand.

Patients who recover from Wernicke’s aphasia report that, while aphasic, they found the speech of others to be unintelligible and, despite being cognizant of that fact that they were speaking, they could neither stop themselves nor understand their own words.

take a look


Claire said...

Weird, but i feel I can sort of understand this guy and his frustration with trying to speak. He said that he'd been a dentist for 40 years, but couldn't understand that because it was way too cognizant. Then he tried to explain how long it felt and drew with his hands on the table to show, it was longer than 30, felt like a hundred and went on and on. The woman seemed to purposefully misunderstand what was clearly his frustrated attempt to communicate, rather than form understanding around what made sense, though abstractly. Whenever she says she doesn't understand he tries to explain its like having a football in his mouth...that he thinks the words but cannot pull them out; they don't come out as he means them to come. I wish there were a way to translate for him; to learn his "language."

Bin. said...

i think you're exactly right, the way he talks about how it (i assume what he really wants to say) comes from all over but when it gets to his mouth "bing" the words get lost or change.

would have liked to have had a chance to spend a year with this guy, i think i could have learned his lingo.