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 measures, electrophysiology, diffusion-weighted imaging, and non-invasive brain stimulation.

For teaching resources on language production, check Speaking: The free book (chapter). It’s free and at an appropriate entry level!

Looking for an internship? Contact us!


Check our work at SNL 2021!

We will be again at SNL this year (from our homes). Follow the links for more. Matteo will present his work on semantic and phonological context effects using picture-word interference and EEG.

See you virtually at IWOLP 2021!

We are excited about participating in and presenting at the International Workshop on Language Production this year (from our homes). Follow the links for more (links will be updated soon).

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.

Recent Work

The impact of CSF-filled cavities on scalp EEG and its implications

Previous studies have found EEG amplitude and scalp topography differences between neurotypical and neurological/neurosurgical groups, being interpreted at the cognitive level. However, these comparisons are invariably accompanied by anatomical changes. Critical to EEG are the so-called volume currents, which are affected by the …

Is switching more costly in cued than voluntary language switching? Evidence from behaviour and electrophysiology

Multilingual language control is commonly investigated using picture-naming paradigms with explicit instructions when to switch between languages. In daily life, language-switching also occurs without external cues. Cued language-switching tasks usually show a switch cost (i.e., slower responses on switch than non-switch trials). …

The concise language paradigm (CLaP), a framework for studying the intersection of comprehension and production: Electrophysiological properties

Studies investigating language commonly isolate one language modality or process, focusing on comprehension or production. We aim to combine both in the new Concise Language Paradigm (CLaP), tapping into comprehension and production within one trial. The trial structure is identical across conditions, presenting an auditory sentence …

A concise overview of the spatial and temporal underpinnings of lexical selection in spoken word production

Word production and comprehension both require mapping between the meaning, form, and syntactical representations of the word. We refer to the collective set of processes involved in performing this mapping as lexical selection. In the field of word production research, how lexical selection is carried out in the brain is studied …

An fMRI study of inflectional encoding in spoken word production: Role of domain-general inhibition

A major issue concerning inflectional encoding in spoken word production is whether or not regular forms (e.g., past tense walked) are encoded by rule application and irregular forms (e.g., swam) by retrieval from associative memory and inhibition of the regular rule. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine …