Broca’s area is a region of the hominid brain with functions linked to speech production.
The production of language has been linked to the Broca’s area since Pierre Paul Broca reported impairments in two patients. They had lost the ability to speak after injury to the posterior inferior frontal gyrus of the brain. Since then, the approximate region he identified has become known as Broca’s area, and the deficit in language production as Broca’s aphasia. Broca’s area is now typically defined in terms of the pars opercularis and pars triangularis of the inferior frontal gyrus, represented in Brodmann’s cytoarchitectonic map as areas 44 and 45. Studies of chronic aphasia have implicated an essential role of Broca’s area in various speech and language functions. Further, functional MRI studies have also identified activation patterns in Broca’s area associated with various language tasks. However, slow destruction of the Broca’s area by brain tumors can leave speech relatively intact suggesting its functions can shift to nearby areas in the brain.