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Using Both Sides of the Brain

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Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have discovered we use both sides of our brain for speech. Their study published in the journal Nature looked at 16 patients with epilepsy who had special electrodes placed directly inside their brain to record activity.

"We asked the patients to listen and speak to different cues, different words, and then we monitored their brain activity and we found it was present on both sides of their brain in equal ways," says associate professor of neuroscience Bijan Persaran.

This new finding goes against the widely held theory that we only one side of the brain is involved in speech.

"It really made no difference what side of the brain we looked at. It was equally strong."

Researchers say the findings could help doctors who treat patients after strokes or other diseases that can cause brain damage.

"We now understand better the problems with speaking are different than their problems with language. And so what we can do is we can design treatments to specifically target the processes that are involved in speech."

The goal would be to design treatments that take a different approach to recover speech.

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