We speak at an average rate of 200 words per minute! An amazing number of processes occur when we speak: conceptualizing what to say, selecting the words that convey our ideas, selecting the tone of the message, constructing grammatical sentences, uttering the sounds that make up the sentences, and so on. How do our brains enable us to speak creatively at such a rapid rate? And how did we find out about neural operations involved in speaking? This course uses an interdisciplinary approach to address these issues, drawing from neuroscience, brain imaging, psycholinguistics, speech pathology and cognitive neuropsychology.
The objective of this course is to provide an interdisciplinary understanding of the psycholinguistic, neurological, cognitive, and pathological processes involved in speech and language. The content of the course includes: 1. methods used to study neural bases of communication/cognition, including – functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), event related potentials (ERP), electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (MEG), sodium amytal tests (WADA), and neuropsychological tests. 2. neuroanatomy, with a focus on cortical and subcortical networks involved in speech, language and reading 3. The component neurocognitive and psycholinguistic processes involved in speech, language, and reading 4. case studies of patients with speech-language disorders with a neurological etiology 5. Neural development, aging, and plasticity.
Course material will be disseminated via lectures, manipulation of actual brain specimens, neuropsychological case studies, and class discussions. Evaluation is based on 2-4 open-book exams and a term paper.