Modulation of Language Networks
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.