Language function and dysfunction lab

At the Language Function and Dysfunction Lab, we study the psychology, neuropsychology, and neurobiology of language in healthy individuals and in individuals with brain damage.

Our approach is bi-directional. On the one hand, we use models from cognitive neuroscience to better understand language function in neurological populations with the goal of contributing to the development of novel diagnostic tools and methods to improve language capacity in patients. On the other hand, we use observations of the breakdown of language and communicative abilities following brain insult to obtain unique insights informative for cognitive (neuro)science models.

We have a strong focus on language production (because, of course, you can’t do it all!), but are also interested in comprehension and, especially, the intersection between production and comprehension. Most of our work is based on behavioural meaures, electrophysiology, diffusion-weighted imaging, and non-invasive brain stimulation.

We are also part of the Adaptive Language for Healthy Brain and Society.

Looking for an internship? Contact us!


See you virtually at SNL 2020!

We are excited about attending SNL this year (from our homes). Follow the links for more. Check Joanna’s poster for exciting findings on the temporal lobe white matter in humans vs chimps.

Check our work at Science of Aphasia 2019 in Rome

We are very excited to present at Science of Aphasia. Click on the links to see more. We will update the pages to include more info later. Joanna will give a talk on comparative neuroanatomy of the posterior temporal lobe at the white matter level: chimps vs humans!

Come see us at SNL 2019 in Helsinki!

We will be presenting lots of interesting stuff at SNL this year. Click on the links to see more. We will update the pages to include more info later.

We will be in London for ELGGN 2019!

We will be presenting at this year’s meeting of the European Low Grade Glioma Network. I cannot be there unfortunately, but Joanna will be giving an exciting presentation on the initial results of our AFTERCARE survey: what are we offering in terms of assessments and interventions to patients after a surgery to remove a brain tumour, and what do we think we should be offering?

Recent Work

Repetition priming in individuals with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

The literature on repetition priming in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is inconsistent, with some findings supporting spared priming while others do not. Several factors may explain these inconsistencies, including AD severity (e.g., dementia vs. Mild Cognitive Impairment; MCI) and priming paradigm-related characteristics. This systematic …

The effect of deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus on language function in Parkinson’s disease: A systematic review

Purpose: This systematic review focuses on the effect of bilateral Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) of the Subthalamic Nucleus (STN) on language function in Parkinson’s Disease (PD). It fills an important gap in recent reviews, by considering other language tasks in addition to verbal fluency. Methods: We critically and systematically …

ASH: an automatic pipeline to generate realistic and individualized chronic stroke volume conduction head models

Objective: Large structural brain changes, such as chronic stroke lesions, alter the current pathways throughout the patients’ head and therefore have to be taken into account when performing transcranial direct current stimulation simulations. Approach: We implement, test and distribute the first MATLAB pipeline that …

Electrophysiological evidence for cross-language interference in foreign-language attrition

Foreign language attrition (FLA) appears to be driven by interference from other, more recently-used languages (Mickan et al., 2020). Here we tracked these interference dynamics electrophysiologically to further our understanding of the underlying processes. Twenty-seven Dutch native speakers learned 70 new Italian words over two …

Mediated phonological-semantic priming in spoken word production: evidence for cascaded processing from picture-word interference

The cognitive architecture that allows humans to retrieve words from the mental lexicon has been investigated for decades. While there is consensus regarding a two-step architecture involving lexical-conceptual and phonological word form levels of processing, accounts of how activation spreads between them (e.g. in a serial, …