How non-invasive functional imaging techniques benefit the research in human’s language system?

How non-invasive functional imaging techniques benefit the research in human’s language system?

Human language is extremely complicated and crucial to one’s life quality. Classical models discovered several major language centers such as Broca’s Area, Wernicke’s area and so on. However, the development of this model was limited by the few aphasic cases studied as well as invasive tools used. Not until non-invasive imaging technology, especially, functional imaging techniques such as functional Magnetic Resonant Imaging (fMRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) emerged, the relationship between brain and its language function starts to unveil itself.

In this talk, I will give an intensive literature review on what we know about language from functional imaging studies, majorly fMRI studies. It will cover the definition of language networks, the famous and popularly employed experimental paradigms developed for language studies, the analyzing tools from Independent Component Analysis (ICA) to graphical tools.

As a conclusion, I will give a brief overview of a few projects I performed during my PhD years: characterizing functional language networks in healthy, cancerous brains and bilingual/ monolingual Spanish-English speakers.