Paralysis sufferers could learn to talk again after scientists discovered how the brain allows us to pronounce vowels, claims research.
But the new research could pave the way for prosthetic devices in the brain returning the power of speech to those paralysed by injury or disease.
Researchers followed 11 epilepsy patients who had electrodes implanted in their brains to pinpoint the origin of their seizures, with neuron activity as they uttered one of five vowels or syllables containing the vowels recorded.
Neurons in the superior temporal gyrus – responsible for processing sounds – responded to all the vowels, whereas those that fired exclusively for only one or two vowels were found in the medial frontal region – involved in memory.
The unravelling of vowels in the superior temporal gyrus reflected the anatomy that made speech possible – specifically the tongue’s position inside the mouth, the Nature Communications study says.
via Daily Mail
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