The left frontal lobe´s role in language

Applied and Computational Mathematics Seminar
Monday, September 20, 2010 - 13:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 002
Center for Advanced Brain Imaging (Gatech/GSU)
This talk showcases how we can use emerging methods to understand brainfunction. Many of the techniques described could be optimized usingtechniques being developed by researchers in the GT Mathematicsdepartment. A primary tenet of neuroscience is that the left frontal lobeis crucial for speech production and the posterior regions of the lefthemisphere play a critical role in language comprehension and wordretrieval. However, recent work shows suggests the left frontal lobe mayalso aid in tasks classically associated with posterior regions, such asvisual speech perception. We provide new evidence for this notion based onthe use brain imaging (structural and functional MRI) and brainstimulation techniques (TMS and tDCS) in both healthy individuals andpeople with chronic stroke. Our work takes these theoretical findings andtests them in a clinical setting. Specifically, our recent work suggeststhat stimulation of the frontal cortex may complement speech therapy inchronic stroke. Our recent brain stimulation work using transcranialdirect current stimulation supports this hypothesis, illustrating smallbut statistically significant benefits in anomia following brainstimulation.