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Wernicke's area is a part of the human brain that forms part of the cortex, on the left posterior section of the superior temporal gyrus, posterior to the primary audaitory cortex, on the temporo-parietal junction (part of the brain where the temporal lobe and parietal lobe meet).
It is named after Karl Wernicke, a German neurologist and psychiatrist who in 1874 discovered that damage to this area could cause a type of aphasia (now called Wernicke's aphasia or receptive aphasia), which results in an impairment of language comprehension, and speech that has a natural-sounding rhythm but a jumbled syntax without recognisable meaning (a condition sometimes called fluent or jargon aphasia).
Wernicke's work initiated the study of this brain area and its role in language. It is particularly known to be involved in the understanding and comprehension of spoken language.
This area is also one of the affected in schizophrenia.
|Telencephalon (cerebrum, cerebral cortex, cerebral hemispheres) - edit|
frontal lobe: precentral gyrus (primary motor cortex, 4), precentral sulcus, superior frontal gyrus (6, 8), middle frontal gyrus (46), inferior frontal gyrus (Broca's area, 44-pars opercularis, 45-pars triangularis), prefrontal cortex (orbitofrontal cortex, 9, 10, 11, 12, 47)
temporal lobe: transverse temporal gyrus (41-42-primary auditory cortex), superior temporal gyrus (38, 22-Wernicke's area), middle temporal gyrus (21), inferior temporal gyrus (20), fusiform gyrus (36, 37)
limbic lobe/fornicate gyrus: cingulate cortex/cingulate gyrus, anterior cingulate (24, 32, 33), posterior cingulate (23, 31),
Some categorizations are approximations, and some Brodmann areas span gyri.