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PhD Defence Laura Menenti on July 2
Laura Menenti, PhD student at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour and the MPI for Psycholinguistics, studied the role that regions in the right hemisphere play in language processing. She explored reading, listening, and speaking, using functional MRI to measure brain responses. On July 2, 2010, she will defend her thesis, called 'The Right Language', in the Aula of the Radboud University Nijmegen.
June 30, 2010
Language is processed in the brain’s left hemisphere, according to many language researchers. But how about the right hemisphere and its role in language processing? During her doctoral research, PhD Laura Menenti studied the role that regions in the right hemisphere play in language processing. She studied reading, listening, and speaking, using functional MRI to measure brain responses. In the process, she pioneered the study of the speaking brain, which had so far rarely been undertaken.
Context is crucial
In her dissertation, Menenti showed that converting the message a speaker wants to convey to a language involves both left- and right-hemispheric regions. She also showed that right-hemispheric regions play a role in relating new incoming information to its context. In experimental research, language has so far been investigated in as much isolation as possible. In our everyday lives, however, context plays a crucial role in language use. The contribution of right-hemispheric regions to language, then, isn’t some exotic extra: it is relevant whenever we actually speak about something.