Principal Investigator (PI)

Dr. Gesa Hartwigsen
Dr. Gesa Hartwigsen
Research group leader
Phone: +49 341 9940-162

Our TMS Lab

This video introduces our TMS Lab.

Department of Neuropsychology

Modulation of Language Networks

Language is organized in large-scale parieto-temporo-frontal networks in the human brain.

The modulation of language networks group focuses on the interaction, dynamics and connectivity in language networks. In particular, we combine neuroimaging methods with non-invasive brain stimulation to probe the functional relevance of key nodes for different speech and language functions. By this, we aim at elucidating how key network nodes interact and influence each other during successful communication. In this context, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) provides the ideal means to test the causal contribution of core nodes to a given language function. Moreover, the application of multifocal TMS over more than one region allows for the investigation of compensation and interaction in language networks. 

A second goal of our group is the investigation of adaptive short-term plasticity and rapid reorganization in the language system. To this end, plasticity-inducing protocols are combined with subsequent neuroimaging in the healthy language system to elucidate how a focal perturbation changes the neural activity and functional drive within a language network. These results may contribute to a better understanding of reorganization processes in the lesioned language network in patients with post-stroke aphasia. To probe the neural dynamics and shed light on the timing of language processes, we also combine TMS and electroencephalography (EEG) in a chronometric fashion. Particularly, non-invasive brain stimulation may be used to synchronize (or desynchronize) cortical oscillations during language processing.

Combination of TMS and functional neuroimaging to investigate language networks. TMS can be applied after fMRI to test the functional relevance of task-related activity. Alternatively, fMRI can be used to map adaptive plasticity in response to TMS-induced perturbations. Zoom Image
Combination of TMS and functional neuroimaging to investigate language networks. TMS can be applied after fMRI to test the functional relevance of task-related activity. Alternatively, fMRI can be used to map adaptive plasticity in response to TMS-induced perturbations. [less]
Schematic illustration of TMS-induced changes in the interaction between language regions. TMS may decrease neural activity at the stimulated site. This may also influence the interaction and functional drive on the network level. Zoom Image
Schematic illustration of TMS-induced changes in the interaction between language regions. TMS may decrease neural activity at the stimulated site. This may also influence the interaction and functional drive on the network level. [less]

Staff

NameContact
Pei-Ju Chien
PhD student
Phone
  • +49 341 9940-2620
Emailchien@...
Maria Dotzer, M.Sc.
PhD student
Phone
  • + 49 341 9940-2460
Emaildotzer@...
Valentina Fiori
Guest researcher
Emailfiori@...
Astrid Graessner
PhD student
Phone
  • +49 341 9940-2586
Emailgraessner@...
Dr. Gesa Hartwigsen
Research group leader
Phone
  • +49 341 9940-162
Emailhartwigsen@...
Philipp Kuhnke, M.Sc.
PhD student
Phone
  • +49 341 9940 2249
Emailkuhnke@...
Ole Numssen, Dipl.-Psych.
PhD student
Emailnumssen@...
Dr. Christian Obermeier
Guest researcher
Emailobermeier@...
Anna Rysop
PhD student
Emailrysop@...
Stan van der Burght, M.Sc.
PhD student
Phone
  • +49 341 9940-2238
Emailvanderburght@...
 
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