Transcranial direct current stimulation (Tdcs) of wernicke's and broca's areas in studies of language learning and word acquisition

Research output

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Language is a highly important yet poorly understood function of the human brain. While studies of brain activation patterns during language comprehension are abundant, what is often critically missing is causal evidence of brain areas' involvement in a particular linguistic function, not least due to the unique human nature of this ability and a shortage of neurophysiological tools to study causal relationships in the human brain noninvasively. Recent years have seen a rapid rise in the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the human brain, an easy, inexpensive and safe noninvasive technique that can modulate the state of the stimulated brain area (putatively by shifting excitation/ inhibition thresholds), enabling a study of its particular contribution to specific functions. While mostly focusing on motor control, the use of tDCS is becoming more widespread in both basic and clinical research on higher cognitive functions, language included, but the procedures for its application remain variable. Here, we describe the use of tDCS in a psycholinguistic word-learning experiment. We present the techniques and procedures for application of cathodal and anodal stimulation of core language areas of Broca and Wernicke in the left hemisphere of the human brain, describe the procedures of creating balanced sets of psycholinguistic stimuli, a controlled yet naturalistic learning regime, and a comprehensive set of techniques to assess the learning outcomes and tDCS effects. As an example of tDCS application, we show that cathodal stimulation of Wernicke's area prior to a learning session can impact word learning efficiency. This impact is both present immediately after learning and, importantly, preserved over longer time after the physical effects of stimulation wear off, suggesting that tDCS can have long-term influence on linguistic storage and representations in the human brain.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere59159
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Volume2019
Issue number149
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

Fingerprint

Brain
Language
Learning
Psycholinguistics
Linguistics
Physical Stimulation
Aptitude
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
Wernicke Area
Broca Area
Cognition
Chemical activation
Wear of materials
Efficiency
Research
Experiments

Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

Cite this

@article{374a8f1f04684129a800ec8512fe1047,
title = "Transcranial direct current stimulation (Tdcs) of wernicke's and broca's areas in studies of language learning and word acquisition",
abstract = "Language is a highly important yet poorly understood function of the human brain. While studies of brain activation patterns during language comprehension are abundant, what is often critically missing is causal evidence of brain areas' involvement in a particular linguistic function, not least due to the unique human nature of this ability and a shortage of neurophysiological tools to study causal relationships in the human brain noninvasively. Recent years have seen a rapid rise in the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the human brain, an easy, inexpensive and safe noninvasive technique that can modulate the state of the stimulated brain area (putatively by shifting excitation/ inhibition thresholds), enabling a study of its particular contribution to specific functions. While mostly focusing on motor control, the use of tDCS is becoming more widespread in both basic and clinical research on higher cognitive functions, language included, but the procedures for its application remain variable. Here, we describe the use of tDCS in a psycholinguistic word-learning experiment. We present the techniques and procedures for application of cathodal and anodal stimulation of core language areas of Broca and Wernicke in the left hemisphere of the human brain, describe the procedures of creating balanced sets of psycholinguistic stimuli, a controlled yet naturalistic learning regime, and a comprehensive set of techniques to assess the learning outcomes and tDCS effects. As an example of tDCS application, we show that cathodal stimulation of Wernicke's area prior to a learning session can impact word learning efficiency. This impact is both present immediately after learning and, importantly, preserved over longer time after the physical effects of stimulation wear off, suggesting that tDCS can have long-term influence on linguistic storage and representations in the human brain.",
keywords = "Behavior, Broca's area, Issue 149, Language, Speech, TDCS, Wernicke's area, Word acquisition",
author = "Evgeny Blagovechtchenski and Daria Gnedykh and Diana Kurmakaeva and Nadezhda Mkrtychian and Svetlana Kostromina and Yury Shtyrov",
year = "2019",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.3791/59159",
language = "English",
volume = "2019",
journal = "Journal of Visualized Experiments",
issn = "1940-087X",
publisher = "MYJoVE Corporation",
number = "149",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Transcranial direct current stimulation (Tdcs) of wernicke's and broca's areas in studies of language learning and word acquisition

AU - Blagovechtchenski, Evgeny

AU - Gnedykh, Daria

AU - Kurmakaeva, Diana

AU - Mkrtychian, Nadezhda

AU - Kostromina, Svetlana

AU - Shtyrov, Yury

PY - 2019/7/1

Y1 - 2019/7/1

N2 - Language is a highly important yet poorly understood function of the human brain. While studies of brain activation patterns during language comprehension are abundant, what is often critically missing is causal evidence of brain areas' involvement in a particular linguistic function, not least due to the unique human nature of this ability and a shortage of neurophysiological tools to study causal relationships in the human brain noninvasively. Recent years have seen a rapid rise in the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the human brain, an easy, inexpensive and safe noninvasive technique that can modulate the state of the stimulated brain area (putatively by shifting excitation/ inhibition thresholds), enabling a study of its particular contribution to specific functions. While mostly focusing on motor control, the use of tDCS is becoming more widespread in both basic and clinical research on higher cognitive functions, language included, but the procedures for its application remain variable. Here, we describe the use of tDCS in a psycholinguistic word-learning experiment. We present the techniques and procedures for application of cathodal and anodal stimulation of core language areas of Broca and Wernicke in the left hemisphere of the human brain, describe the procedures of creating balanced sets of psycholinguistic stimuli, a controlled yet naturalistic learning regime, and a comprehensive set of techniques to assess the learning outcomes and tDCS effects. As an example of tDCS application, we show that cathodal stimulation of Wernicke's area prior to a learning session can impact word learning efficiency. This impact is both present immediately after learning and, importantly, preserved over longer time after the physical effects of stimulation wear off, suggesting that tDCS can have long-term influence on linguistic storage and representations in the human brain.

AB - Language is a highly important yet poorly understood function of the human brain. While studies of brain activation patterns during language comprehension are abundant, what is often critically missing is causal evidence of brain areas' involvement in a particular linguistic function, not least due to the unique human nature of this ability and a shortage of neurophysiological tools to study causal relationships in the human brain noninvasively. Recent years have seen a rapid rise in the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the human brain, an easy, inexpensive and safe noninvasive technique that can modulate the state of the stimulated brain area (putatively by shifting excitation/ inhibition thresholds), enabling a study of its particular contribution to specific functions. While mostly focusing on motor control, the use of tDCS is becoming more widespread in both basic and clinical research on higher cognitive functions, language included, but the procedures for its application remain variable. Here, we describe the use of tDCS in a psycholinguistic word-learning experiment. We present the techniques and procedures for application of cathodal and anodal stimulation of core language areas of Broca and Wernicke in the left hemisphere of the human brain, describe the procedures of creating balanced sets of psycholinguistic stimuli, a controlled yet naturalistic learning regime, and a comprehensive set of techniques to assess the learning outcomes and tDCS effects. As an example of tDCS application, we show that cathodal stimulation of Wernicke's area prior to a learning session can impact word learning efficiency. This impact is both present immediately after learning and, importantly, preserved over longer time after the physical effects of stimulation wear off, suggesting that tDCS can have long-term influence on linguistic storage and representations in the human brain.

KW - Behavior

KW - Broca's area

KW - Issue 149

KW - Language

KW - Speech

KW - TDCS

KW - Wernicke's area

KW - Word acquisition

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85070465663&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/transcranial-direct-current-stimulation-tdcs-wernickes-brocas-areas-studies-language-learning-word-a

U2 - 10.3791/59159

DO - 10.3791/59159

M3 - Article

C2 - 31355805

AN - SCOPUS:85070465663

VL - 2019

JO - Journal of Visualized Experiments

JF - Journal of Visualized Experiments

SN - 1940-087X

IS - 149

M1 - e59159

ER -