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猴子大脑中也有一个Broca区

时间:2005-07-03 23:25来源:NatureAsia 作者:bioguider 阅读:


1861年,一位名叫Paul Broca的医生描述了一个有语言问题的患者,这个患者只能说一个词:“tan”。该患者死后,在其大脑左前叶皮层的部分区域发现了脑损伤,这个区域后来被称为“Broca语言产生区”,或称为“human architectronic area 44”。今天,关于人类以外的灵长类是否也有一个类似的皮层区存在相当大的争议。现在,Petrides等人发现,猴子的确也有一个这样的区域,它与面部肌肉组织有关。该区域可能是控制下巴的动作和其他动作的,包括与交流有关的动作。

Orofacial somatomotor responses in the macaque monkey homologue of Broca's area

In the ventrolateral frontal lobe of the human brain there is a distinct entity, cytoarchitectonic area 44 (Broca's area), which is crucial in speech production1, 2, 3, 4. There has been controversy5, 6 over whether monkeys possess an area comparable to human area 44. We have addressed this question in the macaque monkey by combining quantitative architectonic analysis of the cortical areas within the ventrolateral frontal region with electrophysiological recording of neuron activity and electrical intracortical microstimulation. Here we show that, immediately in front of the ventral part of the agranular premotor cortical area 6, there is a distinct cortical area that is architectonically comparable to human area 44 and that this monkey area 44 is involved with the orofacial musculature. We suggest that area 44 might have evolved originally as an area exercising high-level control over orofacial actions, including those related to communicative acts, and that, in the human brain, area 44 eventually also came to control certain aspects of the speech act.

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