Wernicke’s Area | Área de Wernicke

Published 15th November 2017
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Wernicke’s area

It is well known that the brain is a complex organ that controls all functions of the body. Since the late nineteenth century, Wernicke’s area is considered to be one of the two parts of the cerebral cortex linked to speech. It was first described by German neurologist Carl Wernicke. This area is involved in the comprehension of written and spoken language. It is located in the posterior third of the upper temporal convolution of the left hemisphere of the brain. Thus, it lies close to the auditory cortex.


Wernicke’s area is connected to another brain region called Broca’s area, which is involved in language processing. This area controls the functions involved with speech production. These two brain areas together enable us to speak, interpret, process and understand spoken and written language. Wernicke’s area functions include:

  • Language Comprehension
  • Semantic Processing
  • Language Recognition
  • Language Interpretation


Individuals with damage affecting their Wernicke’s area can develop a condition called Wernicke’s aphasia or fluent aphasia. These individuals experience difficulties comprehending language and communicating ideas. They are able to speak words and form sentences that are grammatically correct, however, the sentences do not make sense. They may include unrelated words or words that have no meaning in their sentences. These individuals lose the ability to connect words with their appropriate meanings. They are often unaware that what they are saying does not make sense.


Área de Wernicke

Es bien conocido que el cerebro es un órgano complejo que controla todas las funciones del cuerpo. Desde finales del siglo XIX, se considera que el área de Wernicke es una de las dos áreas de la corteza cerebral relacionadas con el lenguaje. Fue descrita por primera vez por el neurólogo alemán Wernicke. Esta área forma parte de la comprensión del lenguaje hablado y escrito. Está ubicada en el tercio posterior superior de la circunvolución temporal superior del hemisferio izquierdo. Por lo que se encuentra cercana a la corteza auditiva.


El área está conectada a otra región cerebral llamada área de Broca, que se encarga del procesamiento del idioma. Esta área controla las funciones involucradas en la producción del discurso. Juntas nos permiten hablar, interpretar, procesar u comprender el lenguaje hablado y escrito. Las funciones del área de Wernicke incluyen:

  • Comprensión del lenguaje
  • Procesamiento semántico
  • Reconocimiento del lenguaje
  • Interpretación del lenguaje


Los individuos con daños que afecten al área de Wernicke pueden desarrollar un trastorno llamado afasia de Wernicke, también conocida como afasia fluente, afasia sensorial, afasia receptiva, o afasia de comprensión. Estas personas experimentan dificultades para comprender el lenguaje y comunicar ideas. Son capaces de pronunciar palabras y formar oraciones gramaticalmente correctas, sin embargo, las oraciones no tienen sentido. Pueden incluir palabras no relacionadas o que no tienen significado en el contexto. Pierden la capacidad de conectar las palabras con su significado correcto y normalmente no son conscientes de que su producción del lenguaje no tiene sentido.

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