Brain and Language Lab

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The lab investigates the neurocognition of language and memory in healthy populations and disorders. To find out more, select an option from the menu. Listed below are some recent findings.

graphic for Tagarelli et al, article 2019

TAGARELLI ET AL., 2019

Grammar learning activates anterior caudate/putamen (procedural memory) structures, while word learning activates ventral stream occipito-temporal (declarative memory) structures. Moreover, grammar learning predicted to rely especially on declarative memory (e.g., with explicit training) shows hippocampal involvement, while grammar learning predicted to rely particularly on procedural memory (e.g., with implicit training) shows anterior caudate/putamen involvement.

CONWAY ET AL., 2019

Lower reliability in procedural learning tasks leads to larger rather than smaller effect sizes for procedural learning deficits in children with developmental language disorder.

JOHARI ET AL., 2019

Female patients with Parkinson's disease are less impaired on aspects of grammar than male patients, likely due to stronger declarative memory-based compensation in females.

PLIATSIKAS ET AL., 2018

Working memory in older adults declines with age, but is modulated by sex and education: evidence from a study of 754 older adults in Taiwan.

TAKÁCS ET AL., 2018

Evidence that procedural memory is enhanced in children with Tourette syndrome.

HAMRICK ET AL., 2018

Child first language and adult second language are both tied to general-purpose learning systems in the brain that are evolutionarily ancient, and are also found in other vertebrates.

GREY ET AL., 2017

Does being bilingual help your brain learn additional languages? The answer seems to be yes: if you've learned two languages early in life, it may help your brain learn another language later on.

NEVAT ET AL. 2017

The neural bases of the learning and generalization of affixal morphology: an fMRI study.

PRADO ET AL. 2017

Multiple micronutrient supplementation of pregnant women benefits the cognition of their children at ages 9-12 years, as shown in a study that examined 2879 children in Lombok, Indonesia.

LUKACS ET AL. 2017

Evidence that consolidation in declarative memory may be enhanced in Specific Language Impairment.

EVANS AND ULLMAN 2016

Abnormalities of brain structures underlying procedural memory may help explain developmental math disability.

Chart image from Dye et al, 2016

DYE ET AL. 2016

Children with Tourette syndrome show evidence for speeded grammatical combination in phonology (in a nonword repetition task), complementing previous evidence for speeded combination in morphology.

chart image from Ullman and Pullman, 2015

Ullman and Pullman 2015

Declarative memory compensates for multiple deficits across neurodevelopmental disorders, including deficits of social skills in autism, reading in dyslexia, and grammar in specific language impairment.

graphic from Lum et al, article 2015

LUM ET AL. 2015

Declarative memory is normal in children with specific language impairment (SLI) unless they also have working memory problems.

graphic from Clark et al, article 2015

CLARK ET AL. 2014

Procedural learning is impaired in Parkinson’s disease (PD): Evidence from a meta-analysis of serial reaction time studies.

graphic from Walenski et al, article 2014

WALENSKI ET AL. 2014

Children with autism show evidence for speeded grammatical combination in morphology.

graphic from Lum et al, article 2014

LUM ET AL. 2014

Procedural learning is impaired in specific language impairment (SLI): Evidence from a meta-analysis of serial reaction time studies.

graphic from Bowden et al, article 2013

BOWDEN ET AL. 2013

Native-like brain processing of syntax can be attained by university foreign language learners.

graphic from Dye et al, article 2013

DYE ET AL. 2013

Imageability and frequency effects of regular and irregular past tense forms in children: Evidence that all children store irregulars, but only girls store regulars.

graphic from Lum et al, article 2013

LUM ET AL. 2013

Procedural learning is impaired in dyslexia: Evidence from a meta-analysis of serial reaction time studies.

graphic from Hedenius et al, article 2013

HEDENIUS ET AL. 2013

Children with developmental dyslexia (DD) are better than typically developing (TD) children at learning and retaining non-verbal information in declarative memory.

graphic from Prado et al, article 2012A

PRADO ET AL. 2012A

Multiple micronutrient supplementation benefits the cognition of pregnant women, in a study examining 640 women in Lombok, Indonesia.

graphic from Prado et al, article 2012B

PRADO ET AL. 2012B

Multiple micronutrient supplementation of pregnant women who were undernourished benefits the cognition of their children at ages 3-4 years.

graphic from Phillips et al, article 2012

PHILLIPS ET AL. 2012

In patients with early Parkinson’s disease, subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation affects grammatical (but not lexical) abilities, and naming manipulated (but not non-manipulated) objects.

graphic from Newman et al, article 2012

NEWMAN ET AL. 2012

Both level of proficiency and native vs. late learning of a language independently affect brain processing of lexical/semantics.

graphic from Nemeth et al, article 2012

NEMETH ET AL. 2012

Patients with pre-symptomatic Huntington’s disease (pre-HD) show evidence of over-active grammatical rule use: Evidence from native speakers of Hungarian.

graphic from Morgan-Short et al, article 2012A

MORGAN-SHORT ET AL. 2012A

Immersion-like second language training leads to more native-like brain patterns for grammar than classroom-like training.

graphic for Morgan-Short et al, article 2012B

MORGAN-SHORT ET AL. 2012B

Second language syntactic processing shows increased native-like neural responses after months of no exposure to the language.

graphic for Lum et al, article 2012

LUM ET AL. 2012

Evidence that grammar relies on procedural memory in typically developing (TD) children, but on declarative memory in children with specific language impairment (SLI); both rely on declarative memory for lexical abilities.

graphic for Babcock et al, article 2012

BABCOCK ET AL. 2012

Complex linguistic forms can be stored or composed, as a function of multiple interacting factors, including regularity, sex, first vs. second language, and both length of residence and age of arrival in second language.

graphic for Hedenius et al, article 2011

HEDENIUS ET AL. 2011

Children with grammar impairments show consolidation problems at implicit sequence learning.