Functional MRI in Aphasia Recovery

The purpose of research in our lab is to utilize functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate brain reorganization for language behavior in stroke patients with aphasia. A primary focus of the study is on recovery of nonfluent propositional speech and naming in chronic aphasia patients. The fMRI technique is used to examine activation in the left hemisphere (LH) and the right hemisphere (RH) during recovery of specific language behaviors in chronic nonfluent aphasia patients. The fMRI research takes place at the VA Boston Healthcare System (Jamaica Plain campus) and the Boston University Center for Biomedical Imaging (Dae-Shik Kim, Ph.D., Director).

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Improve Speech in Nonfluent Aphasia

Our lab also studies the therapeutic utility of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to improve speech in chronic, nonfluent aphasia. The rTMS research takes place at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, with co-investigator Alvaro Pascual-Leone, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation, Department of Neurology. You can learn more about our research by clicking on the links to the left.

Figure 8-shaped TMS stimulation coil as it is placed on the scalp to stimulate the brain cortex; it is painless and noninvasive.