Ling 411 – 03
History of Aphasiology
1. Early Workers
2. Broca, Wernicke, Lichtheim
3. Reactions to Connectionism
4. Goldstein, Luria and Geschwind
5. Recent Workers
Outline of major historical periods
1. Early studies: Up to Broca
2. Broca, Wernicke, Lichtheim – Connectionism
3. The decades following Wernicke &
Lichtheim
4. Goldstein, Luria, Geschwind
•
The return of connectionism
a.
b.
c.
d.
Goodglass
Benson and Ardila
Damasio
Psychologists
5. Present and recent past
1. Early Studies
From ancient Egypt to Broca
An Egyptian surgeon, ca. 3000 B.C.
 “If you examine a man with a broken
temple, … when you speak to him, he
does not answer, he has lost his use
of words.”
Early European thinking
 Aristotle
• Heart is the center of intelligence
• Brain is for cooling blood
 Galen (Greek, 130(?) – 201(?) a.d.)
• Dissected animals
• Brain is center of thinking and feeling
 Vesalius (16th century, worked on cadavers)
 Steno (Late 17th century)
• Brain is the seat of both thought and soul
Franz Joseph Gall
 By early 1800’s, aphasia became a focus of
intellectual speculation
 Franz Joseph Gall (1758–1828)
• Started career in Vienna, later moved to Paris
• Localization of function
•
 good idea!
Phrenology
 bad idea!
Gall’s
Phrenology
Theory
Wrong, of course!
(Why?)
Yet the idea of
localization is a
good one
Reactions to Gall
 Pierre Flourens – Attacked Gall
• The brain functions holistically
 Supporters of Gall
• Jean-Baptiste Bouillard (1825–1881)
• Ernst Aubertin (son-in-law of Bouillard)
• Pierre Gratiolet
A decades-long debate
Locationism vs. Holism
Started with reactions to Gall
Gall: a naïve locationist
At first, it was assumed that all
locationalism was necessarily naïve
 The only alternative seen was holism
 Debate flourished for decades




• Mainly in France, England, Germany
Marc Dax
 In unublished work of 1836
he anticipated the later
major contribution of Broca
 Probably influenced Broca
Jean-Baptiste Bouillard (France)





1825-1881
Improved Gall’s methods
Anticipated later theories
Did post-mortem exams of aphasics
Proposed left frontal lobe
(sometimes right) as the locus of
speech
Ernst Auburtin (France)
 Son-in-law of Bouillard
 Supported the theory of localization of
brain functions in discrete brain areas
 Presented an important paper in 1861
• Broca was in the audience
• Broca invited Aubertin to examine one of
his patients
2. Broca, Wernicke, Lichtheim
The rise of connectionism:
A sophisticated form of locationalism
Pierre Paul Broca
(French,
1824-1880)
Pierre Paul Broca (1824–1880)
 Heard important presentation by Auburtin
in 1861
 Two days later, he got a patient who
• Couldn’t talk
• Had malfunction of right side of body
• Died 5 days later
 Broca performed autopsy
• Found lesion in “third frontal convolution”
 Second patient, also aphasic, also had
lesion in inferior frontal gyrus
Principal cortical gyri (schematic)
Pierre Paul Broca (cont’d)
 One patient had right hemisphere damage,
but no speech disturbance
 In 1870’s, started localizing other functions
 Did neuroanatomical studies of dogs to
investigate localization hypotheses
 Also recognized a different language
disorder – “verbal amnesia” – but didn’t
propose a location
 Was criticized on the grounds that some
aphasics didn’t have lesion in 3rd frontal gyrus
Broca’s major contributions
 Cerebral dominance
• “We speak with the left side of our brains”
 Inferior frontal gyrus for speech
production (“Broca’s area”*)
 Localization of function based on
convolutional anatomy
*Broca did not himself propose this designation
Karl Wernicke
(German,
1848-1905)
The most important figure
in 19th century
aphasiology
Karl Wernicke (1848-1905)
 Studied neuroanatomy with Meinert in
Vienna
 Important paper published in 1874 (at
age 26)
 Generally supported Broca
 Identified “Broca’s aphasia” as difficulty
with speech production, especially of
function words
 Also identified a posterior language area
Wernicke’s posterior language area




In posterior superior temporal lobe
Important for speech comprehension
If damaged, comprehension impaired
If damaged, speech is repetitive
• Patient is unaware of his errors
 Locus of auditory images of words
 Now known as Wernicke’s area
Two basic language areas
Primary Somatosensory Area
Primary
Motor Area
Broca’s
area
Primary Auditory
Area
Wernicke’s
area
Primary
Visual Area
Two basic language areas
Primary Somatosensory Area
Primary
Motor Area
Phonological
Production
Primary Auditory
Area
Phonological
Recognition
Primary
Visual Area
Wernicke: Connectionism
 Proposed the theory of connectionism
(with Lichtheim)
 Involves localization of function, but
in a more sophisticated form than
predecessors
 Accepted Meinert’s postulation of a
fiber bundle connecting the two basic
language areas – arcuate fasciculus
Arcuate Fasciculus
Wernicke: Connectionism
and the arcuate fasciculus
 Wernicke had learned about it from Meinert
in Vienna
 Predicted “Conduction Aphasia”
• Would result from damage to this bundle
• Such a patient would be unable to transmit
•
auditory identification to speech production area
 Hence, impaired repetition
Later, he encountered a patient with just this
problem
Ludwig Lichtheim (German, 1845-1928)
 Worked with Wernicke
 Proposed a connectionist-locationist
scheme with now-famous diagram, 1885
• Accepted by Wernicke
• The birth of connectionism
• This scheme was widely criticized for several
•
subsequent decades
Revived by Norman Geschwind in 1960’s
The Wernicke-Lichtheim model (1885)
A – Auditory
M – Motor
B – Ideation
Numbers indicate areas
in which disconnection
would produce distinct
disorder
From Lichtheim 1885
Hickok’s revised diagram
(Gregory Hickock, 2000)
Conceptual
Representations
M
A
Linguistic
Representation
Sensory-Motor
Periphery
The Wernicke-Lichtheim model (1885)
Arcuate
fasciculus
Several
different
areas
Broca’s
area
Wernicke’s
area
Mouth
region of
primary
motor area
Primary
auditory
area
Wernicke and Connectionism
“Based on on his discoveries and those of Broca, Fritsch,
and Hitzig, Wernicke proposed (1876) that only the most
basic mental functions, those concerned with simple
perceptual and motor activities, are localized to single
areas of the cortex, and that more complex intellectual
functions result from interconnections between several
functional sites. In placing the principle of localized
function within a connectionist framework, Wernicke
appreciated that different components of a single behavior
are processed in different regions of the brain. He thus
advanced the first evidence for the idea of distributed
processing, which is now central to our understanding of
brain function.”
(Kandel et al. 1995:13)
Big lesson – Remember this!
3. The Decades following
Wernicke & Lichtheim
From Marie to Goldstein
(Benson & Ardila include Goldstein
and Luria in this third period)
Jules Dejerine (French)
 1901: Accepted basic ideas of Wernicke
and Lichtheim
 But rejected the concept center depicted
in their diagram – no anatomical basis
 Added account of reading problems: alexia
• Visual-verbal zone in left angular gyrus
Diverse Views after Wernicke & Lichtheim






Pierre Marie (France)
Jules Dejerine (France)
J. Hughlings Jackson (England)
Henry Head (England)
Kurt Goldstein (Germany)
Aleksandr Luria (Russia)
Color Code:
Attacked Wernicke
Supported Wernicke
Independent innovator
4. Goldstein, Luria, Geschwind
The return of connectionism
Kurt Goldstein (1878-1965)




German
Studied with Wernicke
Influenced by Gestalt psychology (Koffka 1935)
Adopted a “holistic” approach
•
•
Became the best-known spokesman for this approach
Important publication in 1948
•
•
Not the arcuate fasciculus but a central area
Proposed the term ‘Central Aphasia’
 Criticized the Wernicke-Lichtheim view of
conduction aphasia
 Now we see that there are really two kinds of
conduction aphasia
Another basic language area?
Central Sulcus
Broca’s
area
Primary Auditory
Area
Central
area
Wernicke’s
area
Primary
Visual Area
Another basic language area?
Central Sulcus
Broca’s
area
Primary Auditory
Area
Goldstein’s
area
Wernicke’s
area
Primary
Visual Area
Luria’s position
according to Benson & Ardila
Luria … took a midway stance between the localizationist
and holistic approaches. He considered language to be a
complex functional system, requiring many different steps
in both comprehension and production; simultaneous
participation of multiple cortical areas would be required
for language processing. Although each cortical area
performs a specific process, it also participates in different
functional systems. Thus, the first temporal gyrus
participates in phoneme discrimination, and its damage
causes difficulty in all functional systems requiring
phoneme discrimination…
Benson & Ardila 1996:19-20
Question: Is this really a “midway stance”?
Good and bad localizationist models
 Bad (e.g., Gall’s phrenology)
• Each local center does a fairly large job, all by
itself
 Good (e.g. Wernicke-Lichtheim)
• Each local center does a very small job
• Large jobs get done by the operation of several
or many such local centers working together,
partly in serial, partly in parallel — distributed
processing
• A local center can participate in several
different kinds of larger jobs, depending on
what other centers are working together with it
Norman Geschwind (1926-1984)
 Born in New York City
 Trained: Harvard medical school and
London’s National Hospital
 Career:
•
•
•
•
Boston VA hospital
 Chief of neurology
Boston University, neurology
 Established Boston U Aphasia Research
Center
Trained a generation of leading neurologists
Revived the Wernicke-Lichtheim theory
Norman Geschwind on Wernicke (1966)
Wernicke’s reasoning was simple. He applied Meynert’s
teaching on the fiber tracts of the brain to the problem of
aphasia. The phrenologists, he argued, had been wrong in
their attempt to localize such complex mental attributes as
magnanimity or filial love; what was actually localizable
were much simpler perceptual and motor functions. All the
complex array of human intellectual attributes must
somehow be woven from these few threads of different
texture. The cortex could … provide two means of
achieving this higher integration: it could store sensory
traces in cells … and, by means of association fiber tracts,
it could link together different parts of the system.
Norman Geschwind on Wernicke (1966) (cont’d)
Meynert had already pointed out that what lay
anterior to the fissure of Rolando was motor in
function, what lay behind it was sensory. It seemed
most reasonable to assume that traces of sensory
impressions or of motor patterns should somehow
be stored in regions adjacent to the appropriate
elementary zones in the cortex.
Norman Geschwind on Wernicke (1966) (cont’d)
The application to speech was immediate. Hitzig had
already shown that at the lower end of the Rolandic
cortex was a zone which, when stimulated on one
side, led to bilateral movements of the mouth and the
tongue. It was reasonable to assume that immediately
in front of this zone lay a region where patterns of
articulatory movements might be stored. This was
exactly where Broca had placed the lesions in his
cases, a localization repeatedly to be confirmed.
Norman Geschwind on Wernicke (1966) (cont’d)
Meynert had asserted that the central end of the
acoustic pathways lay in the vicinity of the Sylvian
fissure. Thus it was reasonable to assume that traces
of words should be stored near this zone. If this were
the case, then an aphasia with loss of comprehension
should result from lesions in this neighborhood.
Necropsy of the patients recorded in Wernicke’s paper
amply confirmed these hypotheses.
Intellectual lineages
Leading Aphasiologists
Wernicke
Lichtheim
Goldstein
Geschwind (Boston)
Luria (Moscow)
Goodglass
Benson
Damasio
Ardila
Intellectual lineages
Leading Aphasiologists
Wernicke
Germany
Lichtheim
Goldstein
Geschwind (Boston)
Russia
Luria (Moscow)
Goodglass
Benson
Damasio
Ardila
U.S.A.
5. Present and Recent Past
Ardila
Benson
Goodglass
Damasio
Psychologists
Other contemporaries
The Great Divide
 Clinical Aphasiologists
• Largely accept modern reformulations of
•
Geschwind-Lichtheim connectionism,
following Geschwind
E.g., Goodglass, Benson, Damasio
 Psychologists
• E.g. Blumstein, Caramazza, Pinker
• Tend to reject Wernicke-Geschwind thinking
• Sometimes make unsophisticated
•
assumptions without evidence
Some try to make use of Chomsky’s
formulations about language
Modern attacks on
Wernicke-Geschwind connectionism
 John Pinel
• Surgical excisions of important language
areas fail to result in aphasia
 Blumstein, Pinker, Pulvermüller
• Erratic speech output of Wernicke’s
aphasics
Broca’s Area: Not for Speech Production?
Surgical excision
was done in two
stages. Following
completion of the
second stage, no
speech-related
problems were
reported.
Patient D.H.
John Pinel, Biopsychology (1990:560),
Adapted from Penfield & Roberts, 1959
Broca’s Area: Not for Speech Production?
What Pinel
neglects to
mention, but it is
in Penfield &
Roberts: Patient
D.H. was a young
boy who had been
having seizures,
originating in this
part of his brain.
Patient D.H.
John Pinel, Biopsychology (1990:560),
Adapted from Penfield & Roberts, 1959
More on patient D.H.
 Eighteen years old at time of surgery
 Had suffered from seizures causing an
inability to speak from the age of 3 1/2
 Apparently, “the congenital abnormality
had caused displacement of function”
Penfield & Roberts
Speech and Brain Mechanisms
(1959: 163)
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The Anatomy of Language Sydney Lamb Rice University