Clinical Forum: Brain and Language Symposium

The Research group in clinical linguistics and language acquisition are pleased to invite you to a half-day symposium on language and the brain. Speakers: Annika Hultén (Aalto University) , Kasper Boye (University of Copenhagen) & Thomas Bak (University of Edinburgh).

Annika Hultén is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering at Aalto University, in Helsinki, Finland. Kasper Boye is an associate professor at the Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics at the University of Copenhagen. Thomas Bak is a reader at School of The School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, in Edinburgh, Scotland. The lectures will be given in English, and the event is open to everyone.


13.00-14.00 Annika Hultén: Understanding how meaning is processed in the brain

14.00-15.00 Thomas Bak: Dementia/aphasia and the brain

15.15-16.15 Kasper Boye: Production of determinatives during stimulation with TMS

16:15-17.15 Thomas Bak: Bilingualism and the brain


Annika Hultén: Understanding how meaning is processed in the brain: from words to sentences

Human language is unique in its unlimited ability to express novel ideas, but how are these ideas and concepts processed by the brain? In the talk, I will give an overview of our recent MEG studies where we study how the meaning of words and sentences is processed by the brain. State of the art machine learning technology has enabled us to discover new ways to understand how the brain process meaning by being able to extract the systematic patterns present in the neural activation measures. This means that we are ready to go beyond a correlative map of brain activation, into descriptions of what the brain activity related to semantic processing means.


Thomas Bak: Dementia/aphasia and the brain


Kasper Boye: Determiner production and the lexical-grammatical distinction

This talk discusses the difference between grammatical determiners (indefinite articles) and lexical determiners (numerals) in people with agrammatism and healthy individuals. Recent production experiments suggest that grammatical determiners (indefinite articles) are harder to produce and easier to dispense with than lexical ones (numerals). These results support a usage-based theory of the grammatical-lexical distinction which defines grammatical items in terms of two features: 1) they are entrenched as background information, 2) they depend on (combination with) lexical host items. The theory entails that agrammatism symptoms may have two coexisting neurocognitive sources: 1) they may be the result of an impaired mechanism for combining grammatical items with lexical hosts; 2) they may be an adaptive response to resource limitations in which processing resources are transferred from the production of background information to the production of foreground information.


Thomas Bak: Bilingualism and the brain


Leena Maria Heikkola, Minna Lehtonen, Ingeborg Ribu and Pernille Hansen
Published Nov. 16, 2018 11:17 AM - Last modified Oct. 15, 2019 3:58 PM