MPI colloquium Gesa Hartwigsen (MPI Leipzig)

03 December 2019 15:45 - 03 December 2020 17:00
Max Planck Institute
Plasticity in the Language Network

In her talk Gesa Hartwigsen will outline how non-invasive brain stimulation (TMS, tACS, tDCS) can be combined with functional neuroimaging to probe functional interactions and adaptive plasticity in the language network. In particular, she will focus on the question how the brain compensates for a focal perturbation of key language areas. Neurostimulation studies in the healthy and lesioned language network emphasize the beneficial contribution of the right hemisphere after focal perturbation of left-hemispheric language nodes. Moreover, domain-general networks may also support language processing after large-scale disruption. Recent combinations of facilitatory neurostimulation and functional neuroimaging during language learning further suggest that more efficient processing may be underpinned by decreases in task-related activity and connectivity between language-specific and domain-general areas. Based on these data, she will introduce a novel model on the flexible redistribution in cognitive networks that helps to understand adaptive plasticity in the language network. This model proposes different mechanisms of flexible redistribution within and across neural networks for cognition that help to compensate for (virtual) lesions in the brain.

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