Even up to this age of high-tech brain imaging devices, many neuroscientists and other researchers in the same field remain fascinated by how the brain works. But researchers recently created a brain atlas where words and meanings are clumped in a specific area of the brain.
The atlas, developed by brain researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, shows a map where a certain word is represented in specific regions of the human brain.
In order to test whether the brain atlas is consistent, or the localization of words and its meanings are uniform, the researchers studied the brains of seven participants, particularly the parts involved in assigning meaning to words, known as the semantic system.
But because of the limited understanding of the specific regions of the semantic system, the researchers dug deeper into how the region of the brain works. Upon their study, Alexander Huth and his team learned that the semantic system in the brain is organized in an intricate pattern. This pattern, according to the research team, is relatively consistent across individuals.
“Our results suggest that most areas within the semantic system represent information about specific semantic domains, or groups of related concepts, and our atlas shows which domains are represented in each area,” an excerpt of the study reads.
The study, which was published in the journal Nature, subjected the participants in a functional-MRI scanner while listening to The Moth Radio Hour for two hours. It was revealed that a specific area of the brain reacts to a certain group of words with similar concept or meaning.
What this study provides is an interesting information that deviates to years of concepts that neuroscientists believe, especially the concepts of lateralization and localization. First, neuroscientists believe that language is lateralized in the left hemisphere; that is, the brain’s left hemisphere is more specialized in language. Secondly, it deviates to the concept that specific area of the brain is responsible for specific tasks.