Diagnostic Information
Clinical Applications

Language and Categorization Research

Our research is divided by themes with some research related to visual - auditory low level extraction mechansms and their interaction with higher order processes related to the task at hand and some other research directly related to language. Those two main themes intersect by the developement of new methodologies for MEEG and fMRI.

- features extraction and information processing in vision: how fast do we extract visual information? and what are the neural mechanisms involved in shaping visual objects. At the LCL, we study those aspects of vision as they are the building blocks of reading, a recent mechanism in term of human history, that somehow has to be learned using those low level mechanisms not initially dedicated to language. This highly competitive field of research is mainly addressed via EEG in collaboraion with Dr Guillaume Rousselet from Glasgow Univerisity.

- features extraction and information processing in audition: the auditory system, especially in the left hemisphere, seem to possess unique features dedicated to language. At variance with vision, our auditory system has been shaped by evolution to process language. At the same time, it exists both general mechanisms for auditory processing and selective mechanisms for voice processing. One aspect of our research is to understand the links between those 3 mechanisms, and in particular if conspecific voice recognition is related to language. To this end, we use fMRI and behavioural measures in both healthy volunteers and stroke patients. This work is done in collaboration with Prof. Pascal Belin from Glasgow univeristy.

- task by stimulus interaction in the brain: one incredible aspect of human cognition is its flexibility - even though low level mechanisms seem completely automatic, the task at hand and goals enhance some of the features extracted for higher performances and faster processing. This constant interaction between high and low levels mechanisms can only be studied using complex paradigms crossing several types of stimulus categories and tasks. This work was inspired by our collaborator Prof. Phillipe Schyns from the univeristy of Glasgow, and is continued with Dr Guillaume Rousselet.

- reading: reading is an extraordinary learned skill. Litterate humans can read very quickly and efficiently, in additon we cannot but read words, just as one cannot but recognize objects. However, reading is more than just a visual process, it relies on complex mechanisms involving the matching between visual and phonological representation. Using behavioural, eye tracking, MEEG and fMRI techniques we are studying all related aspect of reading processes, from low level visual mechanisms like the crowding effect to sentence reading. The LCL studies all those aspects in coolaboration with Prof. Ritta Salmelin from Helsinki, Dr Sara Sereno from Glasgow Univeristy and Dr Jean Francois Demonet from INSERM in France.

- clinical applications: our work wouldn't be complete if we didn't apply all this knowledge and expertise in using advanced experimental tools. Current projects concern reading and dyslexia, voice recognition in aphasia, computer assisted therapy in Wernicke aphasia and fMRI for presurgical planning in brain tumour patients.

- methods for neuroimaging: because there are alwasys new questions coming up when doing research we always need new tools and methods to answer them. As the research comes along, new methods and tools are developped at the lab. This range from making public little routines to analyses data to fully automated toolboxes.