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!

News

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

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, …

Effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation over the left posterior superior temporal gyrus on picture-word interference

Word-production theories argue that during language production, a concept activates multiple lexical candidates in left temporal cortex, and the intended word is selected from this set. Evidence for theories on spoken-word production comes, for example, from the picture-word interference task, where participants name pictures …

Information recall in pre-operative consultation for glioma surgery using actual size three-dimensional models

Three-dimensional (3D) technologies are being used for patient education. For glioma, a personalized 3D model can show the patient specific tumor and eloquent areas. We aim to compare the amount of information that is understood and can be recalled after a pre-operative consult using a 3D model (physically printed or in Augmented …

White matter hyperintensities at critical crossroads for executive function and verbal abilities in small vessel disease

The presence of white matter lesions in patients with cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is among the main causes of cognitive decline. We investigated the relation between white matter hyperintensity (WMH) locations and executive and language abilities in 442 SVD patients without dementia with varying burden of WMH. We used Stroop …

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