Towards a neural mechanism of context-driven memory access in language: prefrontal cortex and neuronal oscillations


Language comprehension and production rely on accessing linguistic information in memory, a process strongly influenced by contextual information. Efficient use of context to guide memory access can be disrupted following brain damage, especially to the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC). The aim of the present proposal is to define the neural mechanism supporting context-driven memory access in language. In two studies, I will investigate different aspects of this mechanism. In one study, I will record electroencephalogram from patients with focal PFC lesion to investigate how critical the involvement of lateral PFC is for exploiting semantic context to guide memory access, and whether and how the lateral PFC reorganises after stroke to support contextual processing in language. Furthermore, using signals recorded directly from the brain surface with high temporal and spatial resolution (electrocorticography), I will examine how and when neuronal groups in PFC and left temporal cortex interact, and how semantic context facilitates this interaction and the access to linguistic representations in memory. These two studies employ an exciting combination of lesion-electroencephalography and electrocorticography to advance our understanding of PFC involvement in contextual processing in language, with potential relevance to clinical applications in the case of language impairment after stroke.


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Dr. V. Piai

Verbonden aan

Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Centre for Cognition


Dr. V. Piai


01/04/2014 tot 13/09/2016