Modularity, as a term in communication sciences and disorders, refers to a range of brain functions, but it is most often used in reference to theories of language and its representation in the brain. The basic idea of modularity is that mental functions are specialized and run separately from one another, in modules. Candidates for modular organization, in addition to language, include aspects of speech perception, theory of mind, and facial recognition. The opposite position would be to hold that higher order brain functions are managed by centralized processes. This entry provides an overview of modularity, including its history and relationship to language disorders.

History of the Modularity Construct

The idea that the brain is made up of separate components, each with its own particular job, ...

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