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Are actions truly more valuable than words- Aphasia


Imagine if you woke up one morning and nobody could understand a word you said! You would talk somewhat clearly in your mind but people would give you a baffled look every time you attempted to talk. This would be the case  if you had a neurological disorder like Broca’s Aphasia. The worst part about Broca’s Aphasia is that in many cases you believe you are making sense but nobody else understand what you are saying. Due to the degree of damage and complexity of the brain you may only be able to recognize or correctly pronounce certain words. In other cases you would talk complete gibberish. And yes, i bet you are wondering what the mechanism behind this disorder is and how can you prevent from ever getting it. Well I’m glad you were curious enough to ask.

“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why.” -Bernard Baruch

To understand Broca’s Aphasia you must first understand the development of a language command. Instead of a boring paragraph of information, a simple test can be performed to relate this information.

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see this picture:

 

The word "elephant"

 

 

 

You should have “heard” the word elephant in your head didn’t you! Well this is what happens:

  • Your eyes see the word “elephant” and send a signal to your occipital lobe(visual cortex)
  • That information is then sent to the Angular Gyrus which integrates auditory and visual input.
  • The integrated information will then travel a short distance to Wernike’s Area where your brain comes up with a sequence of words called a “language command”. The language command is a phrase you want to say before you say it. Hence when you heard the word “elephant” in your head. If you didn’t hear it then you might want to see a doctor(im just joking).
  • The language command will hitch a ride on the Arcutate Fasciculatis and arrive at Broca’s Area. In Broca’s area the language command is translated into a Programmed Speech Pattern.
  • This speech pattern is sent to the Primary Motor Cortex where it stimulates muscles involved with talking. This is the final step in allowing you to speak written text.

 

So when you read in your head you are only creating a language command. And the language command is created in Wernike’s Area. There is no need to make the Programed speech Pattern in Broca’s Area since you don’t want to say it out loud. And i could tell you were thinking it…. damage to Wernike’s area can cause  a disorder called Wernike’s Aphasia.

Short Story: El Yo(The Ego)

Also I ask whoever is reading this post to take a brief journey with me. I have a story. The story was originally written in Spanish, but since I am a native English speaker, I will translate a summary of it in English.  As you read the story think to yourself. Are actions truly more valuable than words. If you don’t feel like reading a story there are some interesting Youtube videos at the end of the post.

There is a 13 year old kid named Iban that recently moved from the big city atmosphere of New York City to a new house in the countryside of Ohio with his mother and her new boyfriend. Along with the new home comes a new life of solitude since Iban does not receive the attention he used to get when he lived with just his mom. Iban hates the fact that his mother’s new boyfriend hits his mom, and even though he is young he still understand all that was happening to his mother. Iban could never find a way to express how he felt about the situation due to a condition he had known as Broca’s Aphasia.  Since he could not verbally express his words to any real person, the only person Iban could talk to was his good friend Navi.

Iban felt that by committing increasingly escalating actions, with the aid of his friend Navi, he would send a message to his mother’s boyfriend and gain back the attention of his mother. His escalating behavior didn’t just send a message though.  His actions led to him attacking and killing his mother’s boyfriend out of rage. As he composed himself he turned to see that his friend Navi had also attacked his mother. Out of rage Iban chases after Navi and finally catches him after a brief chase through the woods. As Navi tries to explain to Iban what was going on Iban suddenly and relentlessly attacks him without mercy. Iban only stops when he notices that he can feel every blow that he gives in his own body. He soon realizes that Navi is not real,but a part of his imagination that he created to cope with the pain of not being able to be understood. It then dawns on him that he did everything himself. Essentially, he became the monster he was trying to protect his mother from.

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Without being able to talk or rant about the troubles of life, people may make drastic, unintentional decisions. This story may seem a bit violent, but being an attempt to mimic Spanish literature it does not have a perfect Hollywood ending.

So I propose this question to you again. Are actions truly more valuable than words? In this case his actions were the only option  because nobody could understand Iban’s broken speech pattern. However, could the ability to communicate with other people have prevented all of this from happening if he was physically disabled instead of talking with a broken speech pattern?

My grand question to you is:

  • If you had to chose one, would you rather have actions(movement) or words(expression)?

Feel free to comment or start discussions on the post, the story, or any content related to the post.

Discover more about Aphasia via Youtube

 

Sources used to write this article:

Marieb, Elaine Nicpon. Human  Anatomy and Physiology, 8th edition. Pearson Education, Inc  2010. Print.

http://www.myinkblog.com (used to create some of the images)

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5 comments

  1. Unfortunately we cannot learn all that we want but this could help me to make my knowledge puzzle 🙂 which actually is never ending story.

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  2. It’s weird how people comment so different about your post.

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  3. Your article made me understand some things.

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  4. What do you mean by that?

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  5. I honestly need to make a post relating to this on my blog. Thanks for your inspiring ideas. You are welcome to read my follow-up to this at You can consider my post for July 16th to be the comment to this!

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