Brain and language

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Language could be defined as the ability of human beings to communicate and think. It is a daily function that we apply without much effort, without stopping to analyze how the brain works and what happens when some functional areas are altered.

The ability to understand language and produce speech is associated with different areas of the cerebral cortex. The main components of language are generally located in the dominant hemisphere. About 95% of right-handed people have localized language in the left hemisphere and only 5% in the right hemisphere. Seventy percent of left-handed people have localized language in the left side of the brain, 15% in the right side and 15% bilaterally.

Wernicke’s and Broca’s areas, located in the temporal and frontal lobes, respectively, are essential for speech comprehension and production. The interaction between them, facilitated by the arcuate fasciculus, allows us not only to understand words, but also to give them meaning and to verbally express our thoughts in a coherent manner.

Neuroimaging in the work environment
Currently, neuroimaging techniques make it possible to map the areas of the brain that are activated when a person performs a specific cognitive task. Thanks to these techniques, a third area fundamental to language comprehension was determined: the inferior parietal lobe. This lobe is not only connected to Wernicke’s and Broca’s areas, but also to the auditory, visual and somatosensory cortexes. This connection allows complex and multimodal information synthesis and can process and connect different elements, such as the sound of the word with the appearance of the object.

This advanced tool not only provides data about how the brain functions, but also how it reacts to different stimuli and circumstances. By measuring brain activity, blood flow, oxygen levels and other factors, valuable information can be obtained about the cognitive, emotional and behavioral processes involved in human decision-making.

Indeed, its application can go beyond the realm of healthcare. Neuroimaging can significantly impact companies by improving their ability to make effective decisions. For example, this technology facilitates the identification of the aspects of a product or service that generate the most favorable reactions from people or the images that capture their attention or provoke the most emotional responses.

In addition, this tool can assist designers in creating more innovative and accessible products by studying how potential users interact and react to different aspects of the product, such as its functionality, ease of use, and aesthetic design.

Neuroimaging can also enhance leadership by assessing cognitive and emotional skills, such as problem solving, creativity, empathy and stress management. This is achieved by identifying specific areas of the brain that can benefit from some training to strengthen them.

However, the application of this technique in occupational settings presents legal and practical challenges. It is crucial to consider what regulations would be necessary to protect individuals’ neuroimaging data and regulate its use. It is also necessary to assess the feasibility of the tool, its availability, accessibility, and the ability to interpret the results. And even if laws were in place and it were feasible to use neuroimaging in organizations, would it be morally correct?

Language is not only about understanding how we speak and listen, but also how our brain interprets, processes and transmits information. If we can get deep into its grooves and folds, the impalpable could become tangible.