Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Theme 1: Language and Communication

Language Function and Dysfunction

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Research in our group  focuses on language function in healthy and neurological populations, such as stroke, brain tumour, epilepsy, and degenerative disorders (e.g., dementia, Parkinson’s). Our group is active at the Donders Centre for Cognition and Donders Centre for Medical Neuroscience and Department of Medical Psychology of Radboudumc.

We use a range of behavioural and neuroimaging methods and pay special attention to the intersection of language and other functions, such as executive control and (semantic) memory.

Our approach is bi-directional. On the one hand, we use models from cognitive neuroscience to better understand language function in neurological populations. One of the main goals of this approach is to develop novel diagnostic tools and methods to improve language capacity in patients. On the other hand, we use observations of the breakdown of language and/or communicative abilities following brain insult to obtain unique insights informative for cognitive (neuro)science models.

Ongoing projects:

  • Language function in stroke and small vessel disease
  • Neuroplasticity after left-hemisphere stroke through right-hemisphere recruitment
  • Cognitive function in relation to speech problems in head and neck cancer prior to treatment
Name: Vitória Piai
Telephone: 024-3615497
Visiting address: Donders Centre for Cognition
Thomas van Aquinostraat 4 
6525 GD Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Postal address: Donders Centre for Cognition
P.O. Box 9104
6500 HE Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Key publications
  • Sierpowska, J. and Bryant, K. L., Janssen, N., Blazquez Freches, G., Römkens, M., Mangnus, M.,Mars, R. B., & Piai, V. (2022). Comparing human and chimpanzee temporal lobe neuroanatomy reveals modifications to human language hubs beyond the frontotemporal arcuate fasciculus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(28), e2118295119.
  • Piastra, M. C., Oostenveld, R., Schoffelen, J. M., & Piai, V. (2022). Estimating the influence of stroke lesions on MEG source reconstruction. NeuroImage, 260, 119422.

  • Piai, V., Anderson, K.L., Lin, J.J., Dewar, C., Parvizi, J., Dronkers, N.F., & Knight, R.T. (2016). Direct brain recordings reveal hippocampal rhythm underpinnings of language processing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, 11366–11371. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1603312113

Media coverage

De Volkskrant
Donders Newsletter
Daily California
BNR nieuwsradio

Back to:
Theme 1:
Language and Communication

Research Group
Language Function and Dysfunction

Principal Investigator
Vitória Piai

Group members

Britta Westner

Yang Cao
Irina Chupina
João Ferreira
Arushi Garg
Adrian Jodzio
Christina Papoutsi
Natascha Roos 
Rosemarije Weterings
Imke Wets