HUMANS’ DISTINCTIVE ABILITIES
Specialized areas of the brain known as language centers equip humans with remarkable skills of communication. What we want to say appears to be organized by the region of the left brain hemisphere known as Wernicke’s area (1). This communicates with Broca’s area (2), which applies grammatical rules. Impulses next arrive at nearby motor areas that control facial muscles and help us form appropriate words. Additionally, these areas connect with the brain’s visual system so that we can read; with the hearing system so that we can hear, understand, and respond to what others tell us; and, not to be neglected, with our memory bank to store worthwhile thoughts. “What really sets humans apart from other animals,” comments the study guide Journey to the Centres of the Brain, “is their ability to learn an astonishing variety of skills, facts and rules, not just about physical things in the world around them, but especially about other people and what makes them tick.”
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