Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Everything I ever needed to know I learned from Wernicke

Well, not quite, but here's an interesting quote from Wernicke 1874, as translated by Eggert 1977, that foreshadows much current work on sensorimotor control for speech production:
Observations of daily speech usage and the process of speech development indicates [sic] the presence of an unconscious, repeated activation and simultaneous mental reverberation of the acoustic image which exercises a continuous monitoring of the motor images. [...This sensory-motor pathway] whose thousandfold use [during development] maintains a continuing significant control over the choice of the correct motor image. […] Apart from impairment in comprehension [in sensory aphasia], the patient also presents aphasic symptoms in speech produced by absence of the unconscious monitoring of the imagery of the spoken word. 

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