Prof. Pulvermüller and his team developed in the late 1990s a method, which is successful in the therapy of patients suffering from chronic post-stroke language deficits. Since than the Brain Language Laboratory-Team still is developing the Intensive language-action therapy (also known as Constraint-Induced Aphasia Therapy or Constraint-Induced Language Therapy) to improve the diffrent aspects of this therapy concept.
This method applies recent insights from neuroscience about functional interactions between the brain systems for language and action. For further information see also Aphasia & Therapy.
Constraint induced aphasia therapy or intensive language action therapy (CIAT/ILAT) is an established method for improving language performance in chronic post-stroke aphasia patients. Several randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have shown that this therapy method is making a change in only two weeks, even at old age and several years after disease onset, the reasons and mechanisms underlying its efficacy are still poorly understood. CIAT/ILAT is characterised by several features, e.g. the intensity of the training and the action-embedding of its language use. In our therapy studies we are investigating which aspects of the therapy are most important and which could be changed to make this therapy even more successful. We also make tests to understand the mechanisms underlying CIAT/ILAT better and use neuroimaging experiments (event-related fMRI and event-related brain poten- tials) to reveal the brain correlates, in both space and time, of therapy-related language improvements.
The project aims to specify the linguistic and brain-mechanistic correlates of language rehabilitation in chronic post-stroke aphasia, in an attempt to propel future advances in the neurorehabilitation of language.