Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 296-298

Broca’s Aphasia

  • David MorrisonAffiliated withSchool Counseling/School Psychology, Azusa Pacific University
  • , Mary Joann LangAffiliated withSchool Counseling/School Psychology, Azusa Pacific University

Synonyms

Ataxic aphasia; Childhood aphasia; Expressive aphasia; Motor aphasia; Nonfluent aphasia

Definition

Brocas area is located in the frontal lobe of the left hemisphere of the brain and is responsible for motor speech planning. Named for Pierre Paul Broca, it was the first area of the brain to have a specified particular function.

The term aphasia describes a group of language disorders that are linked by a common characteristic of impairment of language processing and language production. This impairment is characterized by a combination of naming, fluency, and comprehension deficits. Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that results from damage to those areas of the brain responsible for the processing and production of language. For most people this occurs within the left hemisphere. Aphasia disorders most often occur suddenly as a result of a stroke or traumatic brain injury but can develop more slowly over time as a result of a tumor, or from infections.

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