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.

Looking for an internship? Contact us!


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

Lexical-semantic and executive deficits revealed by computational modelling: a drift diffusion model perspective

Flexible language use requires coordinated functioning of two systems: conceptual representations and control. The interaction between two systems can be observed when people are asked to matcha word to a picture. Participants are slower and less accurate for related word-picture pairs (word:banana, picture: apple) relative to …

Lexical selection and the (pre)supplementary motor area white matter system

The supplementary and pre-supplementary motor areas (SMA and pre-SMA) has been suggested as involved in language processing since the early ages of electrical stimulation mapping. However they received far less attention in this sense than the classic, perisylvian areas. Recent updates in the neuroanatomy allowed to revisit the …

Semi-spontaneous language production in Dutch speaking people with primary progressive aphasia

Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a neurodegenerative language disorder. Despite recent research, this disorder is studied less than vascular aphasia. There are three main accepted variants: nonfluent/agrammatic PPA (nfv-PPA), semantic PPA (sv-PPA) and logopenic PPA (lv-PPA). Research that looks into the spontaneous language …

Why we speak affects how we speak: electrophysiological signatures of word planning following verbal versus nonverbal material

It is unclear whether there are differences in the neural mechanisms of word planning when it arises after processing of verbal versus nonverbal material. Twenty participants took part in an EEG experiment where they completed verbal- and nonverbal-context picture-naming tasks. The goal in both tasks was to name a target picture that …

Across-session consistency of context-driven language processing: a magnetoencephalography study

Changes in brain organization following damage are commonly observed, but they remain poorly understood. These changes are often studied with imaging techniques that overlook the temporal granularity at which language processes occur. By contrast, electrophysiological measures provide excellent temporal resolution. To test the …