The Complexities of Language and Brain Injury
Nina Dronkers’ research and clinical interests have always focused on understanding the speech, language, and cognitive disorders that occur after injury to the brain. She and her colleagues have worked extensively with individuals who have aphasia to understand the relationship between areas of the brain affected by injury and the speech and language disorders that ensue. Using novel methodologies, Dronkers and her colleagues have isolated numerous brain regions that play critical roles in the processing of speech and language, as well as how these relate to other cognitive skills. Her latest work involves analyzing the structural and functional connections that contribute to language and cognitive processing through advanced work with diffusion and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The emerging picture is that a complex system such as language requires an extensive and interactive network of brain regions supported by an extensive system of fiber pathway connections.
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