How Scientists discover the brain center for speech processing

A study reveals discovery of determining the part of the brain responsible for processing speech.

A research team of New York said that the question on whether the brain has a specific part that only controls speech is finally answered after years of study when researchers discovered the superior temporal sulcus which is located in the temporal lobe.

“We now know there is at least one part of the brain that specializes in the processing of speech and doesn’t have a role in handling other sounds,” David Poeppel a study senior author, a professor in the department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science, announced in a university news release.

Together with his associates, studies were done on the volunteers as their brains were scanned while listening to different sounds that varied from barking dogs, pingpong to fireworks . In order to find out if the participants were reacting to speech sounds and not to a common language that they know of, the researchers let them listen to German words that they didn’t understand.

The result was that all of the sounds seemed to cause activity in the temporal lobe’s auditory cortex and yet the speech sounds caused an activity in the temporal sulcus as it reacted to the sound. This brought the researchers to a conclusion that the temporal is responsible for the processing of speech.

What it didn’t discuss is what’s the relation with the brain center to the inability of the autistic people to learn how to speak. Is there something wrong with their brain’s speech processing center?

The study came out on May 8 at the Journal Nature Neuroscience.




  1. B.k. says

    Curious what this research means for Auditory Processing Disorder. My son didn’t learn to talk until almost 4 and still has difficulties with language.

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