For people interested in normal brain function, the eighth meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held recently in St Louis, presented an exciting array of discoveries. Investigators reported new information about anatomic asymmetries of the language areas of the brain and about processing of sight, language, and hearing. A summary of some of the work done with humans and nonhuman primates follows.
Speaking and Hearing
Electroencephalography has been used recently to dissect the processes of speech and hearing. In both cases, investigators have found obvious changes in the EEG that are message-specific.Speech. Electrical impulses were recorded from the left hemisphere in the Broca-Wernicke's area, the major speech center of the brain, during the second that preceded vocalization of short, simple words or nonsense syllables such as "yes," "no," "eight," "ate," and "oot." Each recording was stored in a computer, and recordings from 50 vocalizations were then combined to produce