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Wernicke = Whirr-nih-key
Yeah, that's how I start things.
I've learned recently something interesting in Psych class.
A bit of background:
In the parietal lobe near the occipital (on the side towards the back of your head) there is a spot called Wernicke's area.
This little bit of the brain helps you to interpret speech, and that's all it's usually described as doing, in most overviews.
However, when a person attempts to read, typically the visual stimulus travels through an area between the occipital lobe (where you see, sort of), is translated on the border of occipital and parietal into auditory code, and then, if you are, say, reading aloud, Wernicke's area interprets the auditory code and sends it on to Broca's (which controls speech).
If a person's Wernicke's area is burnt out completely however, such as from a prolonged, high temperature fever, they can still struggle through interpreting the written word. Which is cool.
It implies that we don't just see words, put together the sounds in our head, and reconnect the verbal symbol to the initial object or meaning. The lettering itself has become a symbol for the object/meaning.
This is especially cool for words like "is" "a" "with" "like" "to" "etc." etc. (ha) since they don't have a physical representation nor can most people actually define "a" or "to" without using the words in the definition.
I wonder if Wernicke's and Broca's areas were in our pre-langual ancestors, but used more for croons and growls....
Brains are cool.

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