Mapping speech in the brain

A traditional but still implicit assumption is that seeing or hearing a word (e.g. ‘sun’) automatically activates the semantic brain network associated with processing of closely related words (e.g. ‘shine’, ‘bright’). In this project we investigate whether such associative activation may help us to localize the 'Broca' area in the brain. ‘Broca’ is the brain area ‘responsible’ for motor control of speech. Localization of this area is a very important practical task for pre-surgical evaluation, because occasional lesion of this ‘language area’ during surgery may have irreversible consequences for the patient.

This research is carried out in cooperation with the N.N. Burdenko Neurosurgery Institute.