Investigating language organization with TMS

Joseph T. Devlin and Kate E. Watkins

in Oxford Handbook of Transcranial Stimulation

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780198568926
Published online November 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191744013 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Investigating language organization with TMS

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Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is becoming an increasingly important tool for investigating the neurological basis of language. This article reviews the history of language studies that span a range of TMS methodologies. TMS offers a powerful tool for investigating the effects of brain damage. It answers questions of recovery mechanisms and methods to improve outcomes. In language studies, the most commonly used form of TMS is to generate ‘virtual patients’ by temporarily disrupting cortical processing. This article explains how TMS studies not only confirm but also clarify the specific regional contributions to semantic and phonological processing. There has been little work with regard to the role of TMS in the area of neurobiology of reading and reading disorders. The number of existing TMS techniques have not been applied to language, despite their obvious potential but this field is bound to grow in the field of language research.

Keywords: brain damage; virtual patients; cortical processing; phonological processing; neurobiology; language research

Article.  13249 words. 

Subjects: Neuropsychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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