The Language Neuroscience Podcast

Host: Stephen M. Wilson
17 episodes

The Language Neuroscience Podcast is a podcast about the scientific study of language and the brain. Neuroscientist Stephen Wilson talks with leading and up-and-coming researchers about their work and ideas. This podcast is geared to an audience of scientists and future scientists who are interested in the neural substrates of language, from students, to postdocs, to faculty.

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Episode 17
Language development and perinatal stroke, with Elissa Newport

In this episode, I talk with Elissa Newport, Professor of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, about her work on the neural and cognitive underpinnings of language development, including statistical learning, language after perinatal stroke, lateralization, plasticity, the critical period, and more.

Saffran JR, Aslin RN, Newport EL. Statistical learning by 8-month-old infants. Science 1996; 274: 1926-8. [doi]

Newport EL, Landau B, Seydell-Greenwald A, Turkeltaub PE, Chambers CE, Dromerick AW, Carpenter J, Berl MM, Gaillard WD. Revisiting Lenneberg’s hypotheses about early developmental plasticity: Language organization after left-hemisphere perinatal stroke. Biolinguistics 2017; 11: 407-22. [doi]

Olulade OA, Seydell-Greenwald A, Chambers CE, Turkeltaub PE, Dromerick AW, Berl MM, Gaillard WD, Newport EL. The neural basis of language development: Changes in lateralization over age. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2020; 117: 23477-83. [doi]

Elissa Newport’s website


Episode 16
‘Robust effects of working memory demand during naturalistic language comprehension in language-selective cortex’ with Cory Shain

In this episode, I talk with Cory Shain, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, about his recent fMRI study of working memory demand in naturalistic language comprehension.

Shain C, Blank IA, Fedorenko E, Gibson E, Schuler W. Robust effects of working memory demand during naturalistic language comprehension in language-selective cortex. bioRxiv 2021; 2021.09.18.460917. [doi]

Cory Shain’s website



Episode 15
‘Situating the left-lateralized language network in the broader organization of multiple specialized large-scale distributed networks’ with Rodrigo Braga

In this episode, I talk with Rodrigo Braga, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Northwestern University, about his recent paper on identifying the language network from functional connectivity analyses of resting state data.

Braga RM, DiNicola LM, Becker HC, Buckner RL. Situating the left-lateralized language network in the broader organization of multiple specialized large-scale distributed networks. J Neurophysiol 2020; 124: 1415-48. [doi]

Braga lab

Buckner lab

Episode 14
Neurotypology, predictive coding, and dorsal and ventral streams, with Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky

In this episode, I talk with Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of South Australia, about neurotypology, predictive coding, and dorsal and ventral streams.

Bornkessel-Schlesewsky lab website

Bornkessel I, Zysset S, Friederici AD, Von Cramon DY, Schlesewsky M. Who did what to whom? The neural basis of argument hierarchies during language comprehension. NeuroImage 2005; 26: 221-33. [doi]

Bornkessel-Schlesewsky I, Schlesewsky M. Reconciling time, space and function: a new dorsal-ventral stream model of sentence comprehension. Brain Lang 2013; 125: 60-76. [doi]

Bornkessel-Schlesewsky I, Schlesewsky M, Small SL, Rauschecker JP. Neurobiological roots of language in primate audition: common computational properties. Trends Cogn Sci 2015; 19: 142-50. [doi]

Bornkessel-Schlesewsky I, Schlesewsky M. Toward a neurobiologically plausible model of language-related, negative event-related potentials. Front Psychol 2019; 10: 298. [doi]

Episode 13
‘Neuroprosthesis for decoding speech in a paralyzed person with anarthria’ with David Moses and Jessie Liu

In this episode, I talk with David Moses and Jessie Liu about their recent NEJM paper ‘Neuroprosthesis for decoding speech in a paralyzed person with anarthria’, in which they decoded intended utterances from the brain of an individual with anarthria using an electrode array implanted of sensorimotor cortex and machine learning.

Moses DA, Metzger SL, Liu JR, et al. Neuroprosthesis for decoding speech in a paralyzed person with anarthria. N Eng J Med 2021; 385: 217-27. [doi]

New York Times article

Related papers:

Bouchard KE, Mesgarani N, Johnson K, Chang EF. Functional organization of human sensorimotor cortex for speech articulation. Nature 2013; 495: 327-32. [doi]

Chartier J, Anumanchipalli GK, Johnson K, Chang EF. Encoding of articulatory kinematic trajectories in human speech sensorimotor cortex. Neuron 2018; 98: 1042-54. [doi]

Anumanchipalli GK, Chartier J, Chang EF. Speech synthesis from neural decoding of spoken sentences. Nature 2019; 568: 493-8. [doi]

Moses DA, Leonard MK, Makin JG, Chang EF. Real-time decoding of question-and-answer speech dialogue using human cortical activity. Nat Commun 2019; 10: 3096. [doi]

Makin JG, Moses DA, Chang EF. Machine translation of cortical activity to text with an encoder–decoder framework. Nat Neurosci 2020; 23: 575-82. [doi]

Chang lab website

Episode 12
Neuromodulation with Roy Hamilton

In this episode, I talk with Roy Hamilton, Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, about his work using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS), and in particular the application of these neuromodulatory techniques to enhance recovery from aphasia.

Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation

Penn Brain Science, Translation, Innovation, and Modulation Center

Hamilton RH, Pascual-Leone A. Cortical plasticity associated with Braille learning. Trends Cogn Sci 1998; 2: 168-74. [doi]

Naeser MA, Martin PI, Treglia E, Ho M, Kaplan E, Bashir S, Hamilton R, Coslett HB, Pascual-Leone A. Research with rTMS in the treatment of aphasia. Restor Neurol Neurosci 2010; 28: 511-29. [doi]

Hamilton RH, Chrysikou EG, Coslett B. Mechanisms of aphasia recovery after stroke and the role of noninvasive brain stimulation. Brain Lang 2011; 118): 40-50. [doi]

Price AR, Peelle JE, Bonner MF, Grossman M, Hamilton RH. Causal evidence for a mechanism of semantic integration in the angular gyrus as revealed by high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation. J Neurosci 2016; 36: 3829-38. [doi]

Carr RM, Lane-Fall MB, South E, Brady D, Momplaisir F, Guerra CE, Montoya-Williams D, Dalembert G, Lavizzo-Mourey R, Hamilton R. Academic careers and the COVID-19 pandemic: Reversing the tide. Sci Transl Med 2021; 13: eabe7189. [doi]


Episode 11
The history of the neuroscience of language: 1820-1922, with Willem “Pim” Levelt

Pim Levelt’s website

Levelt WJM. A history of psycholinguistics: The pre-Chomskyan era. 2013; Oxford University Press. [doi | pdf | amazon]

Episode 10
Broca and Wernicke are dead, with Pascale Tremblay

Speech and Hearing Neuroscience Laboratory

Society for the Neurobiology of Language

Dick AS, Tremblay P. Beyond the arcuate fasciculus: consensus and controversy in the connectional anatomy of language. Brain 2012; 135: 3529–50. [doi]

Dick AS, Bernal B, Tremblay P. The Language Connectome: New Pathways, New Concepts. Neuroscientist 2014; 20: 453–67. [doi]

Tremblay P, Dick AS. Broca and Wernicke are dead, or moving past the classic model of language neurobiology. Brain Lang 2016; 162: 60–71. [doi]

Dick AS, Garic D, Graziano P, Tremblay P. The frontal aslant tract (FAT) and its role in speech, language and executive function. Cortex 2019; 111: 148–63. [doi]

Tremblay P, Perron M, Deschamps I, Kennedy-Higgins D, Houde JC, Dick AS, Descoteaux M. The role of the arcuate and middle longitudinal fasciculi in speech perception in noise in adulthood. Hum Brain Mapp 2019; 40: 226-41. [doi]

Perron M, Theaud G, Descoteaux M, Tremblay P. The frontotemporal organization of the arcuate fasciculus and its relationship with speech perception in young and older amateur singers and non-singers. Hum Brain Mapp 2021; doi: 10.1002/hbm.25416. [doi]


Episode 9
Clinical Aphasiology Conference 2021 Recap with Maya Henry, Andrew DeMarco, and Sarah Schneck

Clinical Aphasiology Conference 2021

Episode 8
Aphasia treatment with Julius Fridriksson

Aphasia lab


Fridriksson J, Hubbard HI, Hudspeth SG, Holland AL, Bonilha L, Fromm D, Rorden C. Speech entrainment enables patients with Broca’s aphasia to produce fluent speech. Brain 2012; 135: 3815-29. [doi]

TEDx talk with speech entrainment example (spontaneous speech at 9:00; speech entrainment at 12:15)


Episode 7
‘Functional organization for verb generation in children with developmental language disorder’ with Saloni Krishnan

Krishnan lab website

Krishnan S, Asaridou SS, Cler GJ, Smith HJ, Willis HE, Healy MP, Thompson PA, Bishop DVM, Watkins KE. Functional organisation for verb generation in children with developmental language disorder. NeuroImage 2021; 226: 117599. [doi]


Episode 6
Sign language and the brain with Karen Emmorey

Emmorey lab website

Emmorey K. Language, cognition, and the brain: Insights from sign language research. New York: Psychology Press; 2001. 408 p. [doi]

Emmorey K, Bosworth R, Kraljic T. Visual feedback and self-monitoring of sign language. J Mem Lang 2009; 61: 398-411. [doi]

Emmorey K, McCullough S, Mehta S, Ponto LLB, Grabowski TJ. The biology of linguistic expression impacts neural correlates for spatial language. J Cogn Neurosci 2013; 25: 517-33. [doi]

Emmorey K, McCullough S, Mehta S, Grabowski TJ. How sensory-motor systems impact the neural organization for language: direct contrasts between spoken and signed language. Front Psychol 2014; 5: 484. [doi]

Emmorey K, Mehta S, McCullough S, Grabowski TJ. The neural circuits recruited for the production of signs and fingerspelled words. Brain Lang 2016; 160: 30-41. [doi]

Newman AJ, Supalla T, Fernandez N, Newport EL, Bavelier D. Neural systems supporting linguistic structure, linguistic experience, and symbolic communication in sign language and gesture. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2015; 112: 11684-9. [doi]


Episode 5
‘Damage to Broca’s area does not contribute to long-term speech production outcome after stroke’ with Andrea Gajardo-Vidal and Diego Lorca-Puls

Gajardo-Vidal publications

Lorca-Puls publications

Price lab website


Gajardo-Vidal A, Lorca-Puls DL, Team P, Warner H, Pshdary B, Crinion JT, Leff AP, Hope TMH, Geva S, Seghier ML, Green DW, Bowman H, Price CJ. Damage to Broca’s area does not contribute to long-term speech production outcome after stroke. Brain 2021; doi: 10.1093/brain/awaa460. [doi]


Episode 4
Neural oscillations and neural entrainment with Jonas Obleser

Obleser lab website

Jonas’s Smiths poster

Obleser J, Kayser C. Neural entrainment and attentional selection in the listening brain. Trends Cogn Sci 2019; 23: 913-26. [doi]

Tune S, Alavash M, Fiedler L, Obleser J. The impact of neural attentional filters on listening behavior in a large cohort of aging individuals. bioRxiv 2020; 2020.05.20.105874. [doi]

Final version:

Tune S, Alavash M, Fiedler L, Obleser J. Neural attentional-filter mechanisms of listening success in middle-aged and older individuals. Nat Commun 2021: 12; 4533. [doi]


Episode 3
A conversation with Eddie Chang

Chang lab website

Chang EF, Merzenich MM. Environmental noise retards auditory cortical development. Science 2003; 300: 498-502. [doi]

Chang EF, Rieger JW, Johnson K, Berger MS, Barbaro NM, Knight RT. Categorical speech representation in human superior temporal gyrus. Nat Neurosci 2010; 13: 1428-33. [doi]

Mesgarani N, Cheung C, Johnson K, Chang EF. Phonetic feature encoding in human superior temporal gyrus. Science 2014; 343: 1006-10. [doi]

Li Y, Tang C, Lu J, Wu J, Chang EF. Human cortical encoding of pitch in tonal and non-tonal languages. Nat Commun 2021; 12: 1161. [doi]


Episode 2
A conversation with Sophie Scott, CBE

Sophie Scott’s academic web page

Sophie Scott’s standup comedy

Scott SK, Blank CC, Rosen S, Wise RJ. Identification of a pathway for intelligible speech in the left temporal lobe. Brain 2000; 123: 2400-6. [doi]

Rauschecker JP, Scott SK. Maps and streams in the auditory cortex: nonhuman primates illuminate human speech processing. Nat Neurosci 2009; 12: 718-24. [doi]

Cai Q, Chen S, White SJ, Scott SK. Modulation of humor ratings of bad jokes by other people’s laughter. Curr Biol 2019; 29: R677-8. [doi]

Scott SK. From speech and talkers to the social world: The neural processing of human spoken language. Science 2019; 366: 58-62. [doi]


Episode 1
A conversation with Ev Fedorenko

Fedorenko lab website

Fedorenko E, Hsieh P-J, Nieto-Castañon A, Whitfield-Gabrieli S, Kanwisher N. A new method for fMRI investigations of language: Defining ROIs functionally in individual subjects. J Neurophysiol 2010; 104: 1177-94. [doi]

Fedorenko E, Behr M, Kanwisher N. Functional specificity for high-level linguistic processing in the human brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2011; 108: 16428-33. [doi]

Fedorenko E, Duncan J, Kanwisher N. Language-selective and domain-general regions lie side by side within Broca’s area. Cur Biol 2012; 22: 2059-62. [doi]

Nieto-Castañon A, Fedorenko E. Subject-specific functional localizers increase sensitivity and functional resolution of multi-subject analyses. NeuroImage 2012; 63: 1646-69. [doi]

Fedorenko E, Duncan J, Kanwisher N. Broad domain-generality in focal regions of frontal and parietal cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2013; 110: 16616-21. [doi]

Blank I, Kiran S, Fedorenko E. Can neuroimaging help aphasia researchers? Addressing generalizability, variability, and interpretability. Cogn Neuropsychol 2017; 34: 377-93. [doi]

Fedorenko E, Blank I, Siegelman M, Mineroff Z. Lack of selectivity for syntax relative to word meanings throughout the language network. Cognition 2020; 203: 104348. [doi]


Music credits: Partita No. 1 in Bm, BWV 1002, by J. S. Bach, performed by John Garner, licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Art credit: Cover art is based on an 1899 drawing of a Purkinje cell by Santiago Ramón y Cajal.