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Guest lecture by Prof. Yury Shtyrov: Cortical systems for rapid word acquisition: multimodal neuroimaging data

14.12.2022 | 16:00 - 18:00

Guest lecture by Prof. Yury Shtyrov


Speaker: Prof. Yury Shtyrov (Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Aarhus University)

Titel: Cortical systems for rapid word acquisition: multimodal neuroimaging data


Humans excel in quickly and efficiently learning new words, building up lexicons of many thousands of words. Despite its clear importance, this vital word acquisition ability and its neural bases in the brain remain unclear. Even though behavioural manifestations of learning are evident near instantly (e.g., we can start using new words immediately after hearing or reading them), the bulk of neuroimaging work has largely studied slow neural changes associated with months or years of practice. To overcome this gap, we used a variety of state-of-the-art neuroimaging tools, including EEG, MEG, MRI, TMS and tDCS, as well as bespoke learning paradigms to tackle rapid brain mechanisms underpinning different types of word acquisition. Our studies used passive exposure to novel spoken and written words as well as contextual learning designs engaging different strategies of word acquisition. The results show a network of cortical areas that take part in online word and morpheme acquisition, which exhibit immediate functional and structural plasticity. This plasticity depends on multiple factors, including phonology, semantic references, individual language experience, age etc.  Distinct cortical mechanisms become involved depending on the type of learning and semantic and morphological content of novel words. Furthermore, we show that these cortical learning systems can be modulated using neurostimulation tools to boost word acquisition outcomes, which may in the future lead to development of new applications, therapies and interventions.

Zeit & Ort

14.12.2022 | 16:00 - 18:00

JK 31/102 (Habelschwerdter Allee 45)