Neurobiology of Language -
New Post-Doc: Atsuko Takashima
I have been investigating the brain plasticity involved in memory formation and retrieval. I began by observing how people remember pictorial scenes and how the responsible brain structures for successful retrieval changes as a function of time. The hippocampus is an important structure for retrieving recently learned information, whereas the ventral medial prefrontal cortex seems to take over the hub role from the hippocampus as the memory ages. The hippocampus is also important for associative memory, such as object-location association (where you parked your car this morning), and is especially crucial for multimodal association such as learning an association between a spoken word and its visual referent. In a recent study, we tracked brain activity change while people were trained to read aloud pseudowords written in an unfamiliar script and how the dominant brain network changed as participants became more fluent in production.
With this background, I will tackle the question posed above: “Capture brain processes in sentence production as a function of sentence complexity and the presence/absence of semantics.“ I will use the same technique that I have used in the past - functional MRI to observe brain areas related to the sentence production task.