Published on 6 August 2015

The organization of brain areas specific of the human species.

Researchers from the unit "Cognitive Neuroimaging" NeuroSpin have identified a network of brain areas in which the organization could at least partly explain the specificity of the cognitive functions of the human species. Indeed, these regions specifically activated in humans but not in macaques monkey, in response to specific changes in auditory sequences disseminated. They coincide with the conventional language areas, especially Broca's. The language faculty in humans may therefore have its roots in the emergence of a brain circuit capable of integrating in the same region, the information from other brain areas into a coherent whole.

Thus the development of new brain circuitry connected to auditory areas, could have allowed our species to acquire the unique skill to compose and recognize complex sequences that characterize human languages.
These results, obtained by a collaboration between the CEA, Inserm, Collège de France, Versailles-Saint-Quentin University and the University Paris-Sud, is published in Current Biology.
​Wang, L., Uhrig, L., Jarraya, B., & Dehaene, S. (2015). Representation of Numerical and Sequential Patterns in Macaque and Human Brains. Current Biology. Jul 22, 2015,