Current events

Guest Lecture

Prof. Andrea Moro | Inner Speech, Generalized Merge and the Architecture of the Language Faculty.

When is sound paired with meaning during language production? The exploration of inner speech offers a unique opportunity to approach this fundamental question, allowing a general reflection on the architecture of human language structure and its evolution. Recent experiments based on awake surgery techniques show that during language production the code exploited by neurons contains acoustic information even in non-acoustic areas such as Broca’s area and even during inner speech (Magrassi et al. 2014), that is without externalization (Chomsky 2013, Friederici et al. 2018). After illustrating these results and their implications I will highlight the surprising convergence with an independent proposal predicting these findings from the point of view of a purely formal theory aiming at explaining some apparently idiosyncratic morphological properties of the English verb system (Kayne 2016). Further speculation on Merge and clause structure will be addressed according to the results described here (Moro 2004). [more]

Guest Lecture

Prof. Gareth Barnes | A new generation of MEG scanners

I will talk about collaborative work between University College London and the University of Nottingham to use optically pumped magnetometers (OPMs) for human brain imaging. These sensors have comparable sensitivity to current cryogenic devices but do not require cooling. This means that the sensor array can be worn (rather than climbed into) and the smaller separation between sensor and brain means optimal (and improved) signal to noise ratio in all subject cohorts. I will talk about our initial modelling and experimental work with these new sensors. One of the exciting advances has been to keep these arrays operational during head-movement through a static magnetic field. This has opened up many new clinical and neuroscientific possibilities and I will talk about some of our experiences with these new paradigms. [more]

Guest Lecture

Prof. Gwenn Smith | Molecular imaging of the depression dementia continuum

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