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Neuroanatomy of Language

Language is a complex cognitive ability unique for humans. The working group “Neuroanatomy of Language” conducts systematic analyses of the relationship of brain structure and function. For this purpose, methods from theoretical linguistics, empirical psycholinguistics, clinical neurolinguistics, neuroimaging and neurostimulation. Together, these approaches provide a multidimensional, formal and precise framework for analysis. This framework serves as a tool for the functional characterisation of the network architecture of the Julich Brain atlas based on cyto- and receptorarchitectonic probabilistic maps. This characterisation, in turn, is the basis for models of normative and disturbed processing childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Based on such models, the effects of acute or progressive damage of circumscribed regions on the brain as a complex system can be predicted and understood.

This research is conducted in close cooperation with the 1000BRAINS study (working group „Connectivity“; Prof. Dr. Dr. Svenja Caspers), with the Neurolinguistics Lab at the Hebrew University Jerusalem (Prof. Yosef Grodzinsky) as well as, within JARA-BRAIN, together with the Departments of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, of Neurology, and of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Uniklinik RWTH Aachen. Projects involve successful students of the RWTH study programme “Speech Language Therapy” who work on their Master’s and Ph.D. theses, doing basic research and translating their insights into clinical application.