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
Montessorilaan 3
6525 HR Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Postal address: Donders Centre for Cognition
P.O. Box 9104
6500 HE Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Key publications
  • Piai, V., Meyer, L., Dronkers, N.F., & Knight, R.T. (in press). Neuroplasticity of language in left-hemisphere stroke: subsecond electrophysiology and structural connections. Human Brain Mapping. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23581

  • 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

  • Piai, V., Riès, S.K., & Swick, D. (2016). Lesions to lateral prefrontal cortex impair interference control in word production. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9, 721. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00721

Media coverage

De Volkskrant,

Donders Newsletter


Daily Californian

Back to:
Theme 1:
Language and Communication

Research Group
Language Function and Dysfunction

Principal Investigator
Vitória Piai

Group members

Ileana Camerino
Yang Cao
João Ferreira

Arushi Garg
Nikki Janssen
Adrian Jodzio
Natascha Roos 
Lara Todorova