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Brain speed-reads using just one part

Broca’s area involved in both reading and speaking words

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1:53pm, October 15, 2009

The brain goes from zero to speech in 600 milliseconds. Scientists have known this fact, but have debated exactly how the brain processes language and then converts the thoughts to speech.

Questions have centered on the role of Broca’s area, a language-processing center located on the left side of the brain and first described by the French doctor Pierre Paul Broca in 1865. Since then, researchers have made little progress in understanding the details of how the area helps a person speak, partly because tools such as functional MRI are too slow to measure the activity of single neurons or groups of neurons.

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