How The Brain Processes Sign Language Reveals Study

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In a recent study, scientists have been able to identify the brain region that is responsible for processing sign language. They have discovered that Broca’s area in the left hemisphere, fundamental for spoken languages, is also essential for processing sign languages. In fact, this is the region where grammar and meaning are concocted, regardless of whether it is spoken or signed language.

While the ability to speak is one of the essential human features, over 70 million deaf people use sign languages as their preferred form of communication. Thus, the researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) wanted to know which brain regions are concerned in the processing of sign language. The results have indicated that the so-called Broca’s area in the frontal brain of the left hemisphere is the central region that is involved in the processing of sign language. This part of the brain plays a key role in spoken language as well, where it is used for grammar and meaning.

Depending on whether people use language through signs, words or writing, it works together with other networks as well. In fact, Broca’s area not only processes spoken, sign, and written language, it also separates linguistic information in any form of language in general.

To Know More, You May Refer To:

Patrick C. Trettenbrein, Giorgio Papitto, Angela D. Friederici, Emiliano Zaccarella. Functional neuroanatomy of language without speech: An ALE meta‐analysis of sign language. Human Brain Mapping, 2020; 42 (3): 699 DOI: 10.1002/hbm.25254 1

👇 References:
  1. Trettenbrein, P. C., Papitto, G., Friederici, A. D., & Zaccarella, E. (2020). Functional neuroanatomy of language without speech: An ALE meta‐analysis of sign language. Human Brain Mapping, 42(3), 699-712. []
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