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Arnold School of Public Health


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Research

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Neural Mechanisms of Speech Production and Motor Control

In our lab, we utilize the EEG recording technique to investigate neural mechanisms of speech production and motor control. The goal of this research is to understand how different areas of the human brain are involved when speakers produce speech sounds and control different parameters of their voice.

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Functional Neuroimaging

Another aspect of our research is related to measuring brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The fMRI recordings allow us to take a closer look at the brain structures that are activated during speech production and motor control. These data are useful to examine the sensory-motor networks of the human brain that facilitate human communication during speech.

aphasia

Speech Disorder in Post-Stroke Aphasia

The goal of this research is to understand how stroke-induced damages to different brain areas can result in speech and language disorders in patients with aphasia. We utilize a combination of novel behavioral testing and neuroimaging technologies to delineate neural networks involved in speech production and motor control and their impairment in aphasia. These methodologies include Voxel-Base Lesion-Symptom-Mapping (VLSM) and Tractography-Based Connectome-Symptom-Mapping (CSM) analyses to study how damages to the gray matter and white matter tracts is related to pathological alteration of speech and language function in aphasia. The outcome of this research can promote the scientific and clinical knowledge for targeted treatment of speech and language disorders in patients with post-stroke aphasia.

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Speech Disorder in Parkinson’s Disease

About 90% of patients with Parkinson’s disease develop speech disorders at some stages in their life. We currently have a number of ongoing research studies to better understand the neurological bases of speech motor disorders in Parkinson’s disease. The goal of these projects is to provide new knowledge that can contribute to the development of novel clinical diagnosis and treatment methods for speech disorders in patients with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological deficits.

Parkinson's word cloud

Speech Disorder Treatment using High-Definition Neurostimulation Technology (HD-tDCS)

Our lab is currently conducting research on a funded project to investigate the effect of non-invasive neuro-stimulation on the mechanisms of speech production and motor control. The long-term goal of this project is to promote our knowledge about the application of neurostimulation as a clinical method for the treatment of speech motor disorder in patients with neurological diseases.