People with aphasia help neuroscientists map language in the brain

first_imgShare on Facebook Share The exchange of words, speaking and listening in conversation, may seem unremarkable for most people, but communicating with others is a challenge for people who have aphasia, an impairment of language that often happens after stroke or other brain injury. Aphasia affects about 1 in 250 people, making it more common than Parkinson’s Disease or cerebral palsy, and can make it difficult to return to work and to maintain social relationships. A new study published in the journal Nature Communications provides a detailed brain map of language impairments in aphasia following stroke.“By studying language in people with aphasia, we can try to accomplish two goals at once: we can improve our clinical understanding of aphasia and get new insights into how language is organized in the mind and brain,” said Daniel Mirman, PhD, an assistant professor in Drexel University’s College of Arts and Sciences who was lead author of the study.The study is part of a larger multi-site research project funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and led by senior author Myrna Schwartz, PhD of the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute. The researchers examined data from 99 people who had persistent language impairments after a left-hemisphere stroke. In the first part of the study, the researchers collected 17 measures of cognitive and language performance and used a statistical technique to find the common elements that underlie performance on multiple measures. Share on Twitter LinkedIncenter_img Email They found that spoken language impairments vary along four dimensions or factors:Semantic Recognition: difficulty recognizing the meaning or relationship of concepts, such as matching related pictures or matching words to associated pictures.Speech Recognition: difficulty with fine-grained speech perception, such as telling “ba” and “da” apart or determining whether two words rhyme.Speech Production: difficulty planning and executing speech actions, such as repeating real and made-up words or the tendency to make speech errors like saying “girappe” for “giraffe.”Semantic Errors: making semantic speech errors, such as saying “zebra” instead of “giraffe,” regardless of performance on other tasks that involved processing meaning.Mapping the Four Factors in the BrainNext, the researchers determined how individual performance differences for each of these factors were associated with the locations in the brain damaged by stroke. This procedure created a four-factor lesion-symptom map of hotspots the language-specialized left hemisphere where damage from a stroke tended to cause deficits for each specific type of language impairment. One key area was the left Sylvian fissure: speech production and speech recognition were organized as a kind of two-lane, two-way highway around the Sylvian fissure. Damage above the Sylvian fissure, in the parietal and frontal lobes, tended to cause speech production deficits; damage below the Sylvian fissure, in the temporal lobe, tended to cause speech recognition deficits. These results provide new evidence that the cortex around the Sylvian fissure houses separable neural specializations for speech recognition and production.Semantic errors were most strongly associated with lesions in the left anterior temporal lobe, a location consistent with previous research findings from these researchers and several other research groups. This finding also made an important comparison point for its opposite factor – semantic recognition, which many researchers have argued critically depends on the anterior temporal lobes. Instead, Mirman and colleagues found that semantic recognition deficits were associated with damage to an area they call a “white matter bottleneck” — a region of convergence between multiple tracts of white matter that connect brain regions required for knowing the meanings of words, objects, actions and events.“Semantic memory almost certainly involves a widely distributed neural system because meaning involves so many different kinds of information,” said Mirman. “We think the white matter bottleneck looks important because it is a point of convergence among multiple pathways in the brain, making this area a vulnerable spot where a small amount of damage can have large functional consequences for semantic processing.”In a follow-up article soon to be published in the journal Neuropsychologia, Mirman, Schwartz and their colleagues also confirmed these findings with a re-analysis using a new and more sophisticated statistical technique for lesion-symptom mapping.These studies provide a new perspective on diagnosing different kinds of aphasia, which can have a big impact on how clinicians think about the condition and how they approach developing treatment strategies. The research team at the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute works closely with its clinical affiliate, the MossRehab Aphasia Center, to develop and test approaches to aphasia rehabilitation that meet the individualized, long-term goals of the patients and are informed by scientific evidence.According to Schwartz, “A major challenge facing speech-language therapists is the wide diversity of symptoms that one sees in stroke aphasia. With this study, we took a major step towards explaining the symptom diversity in relation to a few primary underlying processes and their mosaic-like representation in the brain. These can serve as targets for new diagnostic assessments and treatment interventions.”Studying the association between patterns of brain injury and cognitive deficits is a classic approach, with roots in 19th century neurology, at the dawn of cognitive neuroscience. Mirman, Schwartz and their colleagues have scaled up this approach, both in terms of the number of participants and the number of performance measures, and combined it with 21st century brain imaging and statistical techniques. A single study may not be able to fully reveal a system as complex as language and brain, but the more we learn, the closer we get to translating basic cognitive neuroscience into effective rehabilitation strategies. Pinterestlast_img read more

Sempra, TransCanada to build $2.1 billion Mexico gas pipeline

first_imgU.S.-based LNG player Sempra Energy said it has been awarded a transportation contract by the Comision Federal de Electricidad to build, own and operate a $2.1 billion natural gas pipeline in Mexico.The contract has been awarded trough Infraestructura Marina del Golfo (IMG), a joint venture between Sempra’s Mexican unit Infraestructura Energética Nova, and TransCanada Corporation,The 42-inch diameter South Texas-Tuxpan pipeline will have a capacity of 2.6 billion cubic feet per day and an anticipated in-service date of late 2018. It will be approximately 497-mile (800 kilometer) long, according to Sempra.The pipeline will transport natural gas from a point near Brownsville, Texas, to Tuxpan, Veracruz, and it will provide natural gas to new and existing CFE power plants that currently use fuel oil. The project is contracted by CFE under a 25-year capacity contract denominated in U.S. dollars.IMG will be responsible for implementing the project, including permitting, acquiring land and rights of way, engineering, procurement, construction, financing, operation and maintenance. Infraestructura Energética Nova holds a 40 percent ownership of IMG’s joint venture.last_img read more

No-deal Brexit: family lawyers told to seek local advice from EU neighbours

first_imgContinuing uncertainty over a no-deal Brexit next month has spurred a fresh wave of guidance for family lawyers who have been told they may need to start seeking advice from local lawyers in other EU member states.After publishing no-deal guidance last year, the Law Society has published a joint note with family law group Resolution following discussions with Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the family division.The note covers divorce, maintenance orders, financial applications proceedings on sole domicile jurisdiction, pension sharing and children.Family solicitors are told that the recognition of UK divorces in EU member states is an area where practitioners may need to take ‘urgent action’.Civil divorces are currently recognised throughout the EU by EU law. However, this would not apply if the UK leaves the union without a deal. Around half of the EU member states who, along with the UK, are signatories to the 1970 Hague Convention are ‘highly’ likely to recognise divorces in England and Wales. However, France, Germany and Spain are among the 15 member states who have not ratified the convention.The note says: ‘Again it is difficult to conceive why a civil divorce from England and Wales will not be recognised in these member states which have automatically recognised previously through EU law. But practitioners should take advice from local lawyers in applicable cases to ascertain if there would be any problems with recognition of the decree absolute, as made by a English or Welsh civil court, after the involvement of a respondent by proper service and fully complying with relevant divorce procedure. These are likely to be cases where one of the parties is a national of these 15 member states or for other good reasons likely to require recognition of their divorce in that country such as intending to live or work subsequently in the country or have real property there.’Where there is ‘real concern’ that a divorce may not be recognised in another member state, practitioners are advised to consider obtaining a decree absolute before 29 March. If a decree nisi has been granted, but the decree absolute is due to be granted after 29 March, solicitors should consider ‘abridging time’.The note also states that recognition and enforcement may depend not just on a UK order being made before 29 March but also a certificate to be filed with the relevant foreign court.Meanwhile the Ministry of Justice and Foreign & Commonwealth Office today published guidance on family law disputes, including divorce and child maintenance, with someone living in the EU if a no-deal Brexit occurs.On parental responsibilities, the government says that if a case about child arrangements is ongoing in an EU court or needs to have judgments accepted in an EU country after 29 March, this may need to be done in a different court or under a different procedure.last_img read more

OECS nationals urged to take advantage of French scholarships

first_img 89 Views   one comment French Honorary Counsel to Dominica, Herve Nizzard and new Director of Alliance Francaise, Carole BogdanovsckyOECS nationals have been advised to take advantage of educational opportunities which are available in France, Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana.Only nationals from Antigua & Barbuda, St Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines can take advantage of these scholarship opportunities which have been made available by the government of France.Their enrollment at the University of the Antilles and Guyane (UAG) will be treated as “priority” as well as internships in Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana.New director of the Alliance Francaise de la Dominique, Carole Bogdanovscky told members of the press on Wednesday that OECS nationals, particularly Dominicans should grasp this important opportunity.“The French university system is a public system which has the advantage of being integrated to the European system. French universities are known to be among the best in the world, they are recognized for their excellence and are with few exceptions, public; that is to say that the state supports approximately all the cost of the education”.The tuition costs are fairly reasonable; however applicants must be proficient in the French language.“The cost of studying in French is among the lowest in the world. To give you an example, for one year study, the tuition cost would be 200 Euros a year, that is to say 700 EC, so it is very low and the fee is the same for the French nationals and foreigners”.“As it is close to Dominica, it presents an important opportunity for Dominican students to attend quality, internationally recognized and low cost education,” Bogdanovscky emphasized.Interested candidates must also have a diploma in French or CXC passes, a certain proficiency in French and this can be ascertained by obtaining a passing grade on a French test administered by the Alliance Francaise.She also explained that although the scholarships are granted by the French government via the embassy, the Alliance Francaise will provide interested parties with the necessary documents and assistance to apply.Meanwhile, French Honorary Counsel to Dominica, Herve Nizzard noted that “the cooperation between France and Dominica is now reaching its highest level” through the scholarship opportunities.The application for registration for next year is now open; the deadline for admission is December 31st, 2012.For further information on the opportunities available, visit or contact the Alliance Francaise via telephone number (767) 448 4557.Officials at the Alliance Francaise are also available to provide assistance with the application process and French classes to interested persons.Dominica Vibes News EducationLocalNewsTertiary OECS nationals urged to take advantage of French scholarships by: – October 18, 2012last_img read more

All Blacks coach dismisses England spy claim as ‘clickbait’

first_imgAll Blacks coach Steve Hansen dismissed England counterpart Eddie Jones’ spying claims as a “clickbait distraction” ahead of Saturday’s Rugby World Cup semi-final.Most leading nations keep their practice secret, with strict limits on who is allowed into the ground to ensure opponents can’t get inside information ahead of a game.Jones alleged Tuesday that an unknown cameraman had filmed them, but Hansen was quick to shrug that off.“Hell of a good bloke, very good coach,” a smiling Hansen said of Jones on Thursday.“Eddie and I both know it’s all fair in love and war.“And Eddie knows that in a time of war you throw out a bit of distraction for you guys (media) to deal with. It’s the best clickbait in the world: someone is spying on us.”Hansen added that Jones had not pointed the finger at the All Blacks.“He didn’t say it was us. He was very deliberate in not doing that. He talked about it being someone else, probably the same bloke who videoed us when we were there,” he said.“But everyone has jumped on it and got the clickbait going.“It’s a mind game only if you buy into it. It’s allowed us to have a good laugh. We’re not buying into it.”Hansen admitted Jones had contacted him — but not to discuss spying.“He has been in touch with me but not about those claims,” he said. “We have had a few laughs about other things.”Hansen added that the All Blacks had it all to do in Yokohama against an England side he said had been a “marvellous team in periods in the last four years”.“We are really looking forward to playing them, as are they us. These are the moments the players and staff want to be involved in — the big games.“Viewers can get excited about it and hopefully the game can live up to the hype and expectations so we can send our message around the world.”While the All Blacks are double defending champions, having won the World Cup in 2015 and 2011, Hansen warned against the mindset of 2007, when, as massive favourites, New Zealand were toppled by France in the quarter-finals.“Sometimes people will come off the euphoria of winning the quarter-final and start looking ahead to the final,” he said.“That is a mistake we have made in the past. We may have even done it in 2007 looking beyond the quarter-final. If you start looking beyond where we’re at then your mind isn’t where your feet are and that makes you vulnerable.”For more sport your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.last_img read more

Funniest Rick Pitino memes and tweets on escort scandal at Louisville

first_imgRick PitinoRick Pitino is under the most severe threat to his celebrated tenure at the University of Louisville after former players and top recruits said his staff paid strippers and escorts as recruiting devices to convince them to attend the basketball-rich school.A former escort spoke exclusively to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” about how she helped coordinate stripper and escort parties inside the dormitories at U of L in order to convince blue-chip high school talents and prep All-Americans to choose Cardinal nation over other suitor schools.Five former Louisville players and recruits confirmed allegations that a former member of the basketball staff paid for escorts to dance at parties they attended, ESPN reports, and one former player said he had sex with a dancer after the staff member paid her.Prostitue-turned-author Katina PowellThe lid was blown off the program after a former escort, Katina Powell, wrote the barnstorming book, Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen. Powell details in her memoir that she was paid $10,000, per party, by former Louisville director of basketball operations Andre McGee to provide escorts to dance and have sex with recruits and players between 2010 and 2014. She said she organized at least two dozen of such parties during this time period.Where McGee (and others who paid for these parties) got the money is still a mystery and under investigation by the NCAA.Pitino, long a Hall of Fame-caliber and controversial coach, denies vehemently that he had any knowledge that such activities were popping off under his watch. But already many pundits and fans predict that his Titanic-sized image and program has hit the iceberg and will eventually sink to the depths of ignominy.Fans are also weighing in on the growing scandal, albeit in the most hilarious and witty ways via social media. Take a look at the funniest Rick Pitino memes and tweets about “hookers for hoops.” // it looks as if Rick Pitino and his players are the real Papa Johns #Louisville— Steven Shaw ℹ (@czechov) October 20, 2015// read more

Sociedad strike Vela deal with Arsenal

first_img ““Real Sociedad have reached an agreement with Arsenal FC which will allow Carlos Vela to continue at the club on a permanent basis.  “This club, this team has the ambition to make it better, and I am convinced that we will perform an exciting year.” “The player meanwhile, has signed a contract extension which ties him to Real Sociedad for the next four seasons. The player’s previous contract was due to expire in June 2016. The Mexican striker has now formally signed his new contract.” Sam Marsden Upd. at 21:09 The Gunners were tipped to activate a buy-back clause they maintained on the player from when they sold him 2012, thought to be in the region of €4million, but instead have let Sociedad pay a reported a €11m to buy out the clause, with as much as €5m to be added on in future performance-related bonuses. The Mexican forward, who rejected the chance to go the World Cup with his country, said he was “happy” everything was resolved.center_img Real Sociedad released the following statement on their website: Carlos Vela will remain at Real Sociedad next season after the Basque club managed to come to an agreement with Arsenal over the player’s future. “We knew it would not be easy, but thankfully it is resolved and all parties are happy,” the 25-year-old explained.  24/06/2014 CESTlast_img read more

Conference aims to connect

first_imgBy KATHRYN BERMINGHAM COMMUNITY groups, social entrepreneurs, activists and creatives will come together to celebrate the art of connection later…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img