Allen R. Braun, M.D.
Chief, Language Section
Voice, Speech, and Language Branch
Building 10, Room 8S235A
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: (301) 402-1497
Fax: (301) 402-0409
The mission of the Language Section is to understand how language is instantiated in the brain, how brain-language relationships are interrupted by disorders that affect the ability to communicate, and how these disorders can be treated. We use a combination of imaging modalities—hemodynamic methods (PET and fMRI) complemented by electrophysiological (EEG/ERP and magnetoencephalography) and PET radiochemical tracer techniques—to this end.
We investigate both language production and comprehension, since disorders affecting speech and language typically have a significant impact on both, and how the brain processes language cannot be completely understood by studying either in isolation. We study language at multiple levels, from its elementary perceptual and motor features, to higher-level linguistic processing. But we are particularly interested in more complex, real-world language use because this ecologically valid condition is often the only context in which symptoms of many language disorders present.
Imaging paradigms developed in control subjects constitute the tools with which we study neurological disorders that affect speech, voice and language. These include deafness and central auditory processing impairments as well as Parkinson¹s disease and developmental stuttering, disorders that reflect pathology at the borderland between motor and cognitive-linguistic function.
Multimodal imaging of functional recovery in post-stroke aphasia has become a central focus of activity in our Section. We use multiple modalities to identify the central correlates of neuroplastic reorganization and repair in aphasic patients; these studies are complemented by the use of a rodent stroke model in which MRI, electrophysiological and neurochemical investigations help us to interpret the results obtained in humans, and to design effective therapeutic interventions.
Members of our Section are also interested in music processing (particularly the relationships between music and language in the brain), and in sleep (the effect of sleep deprivation on language performance as well as the neural architecture of sleep itself).
Research positions are generally available. The Language Section is a cooperative environment in which there is an opportunity to interact with postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and technicians with a wide range of interests and skills.
|Figure 1: Brain maps illustrating increasing activity and functional connectivity of perisylvian and extrasylvian areas in both hemispheres as subjects read words, sentences and narratives. These emergent, context-dependent effects are demonstrated using both fMRI and EEG coherence methods.
||Figure 2: fMRI is used to capture sequential patterns of brain activity during visual object naming. Areas associated with early lexical access (object recognition and word finding) are illustrated in the top panel; areas associated with later articulation and auditory self monitoring on the bottom panel; core language areas, illustrated in the middle panel, are active during each of these stages.
Dr. Joseph McArdle, Postdoctoral IRTA Fellow (Send email)
Dr. Jed Meltzer, Ph.D., Postdoctoral IRTA Fellow (Send email)
Mr. Bruce Swett, Predoctoral IRTA Fellow (Send email)
Ms. Torri Wilson, Technician (Send email)
Dr. Walter Carr, Research Fellow, Special Volunteer (Send email)
Dr. Dante Picchioni, Research Fellow, Special Volunteer (Send email)
Mr. Trent Bradberry, Student, Contractor (Send email)
Ms. Michelle Costanzo, Student, Contractor (Send email)
Mr. Guang Zheng, Contractor (Send email)
- Ali, S.O., Thomasen, J.M., Schulz, G.M., Guillemin, A., Hosey, L., Varga, M., Ludlow, C.L., Braun, A.R. Alterations in CNS Activity Induced by Botulinum Toxin Treatment in Spasmodic Dysphonia: An H215O-PET Study (In Press, Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research).
- Gil-da-Costa, R., Martin, A., Lopes, M., Monica Munoz , M., Fritz, J., Braun, A.R. Species-specific calls activate homologues of Broca¹s and Wernicke¹s areas in the macaque. Nat Neurosci 9(8):1064-70, 2006.
- Kemeny, S., Xu, Jiang, Park, G., Hosey, L., Braun, A.R. Temporal Dissociation of Early Lexical Access and Articulation Using a Delayed Naming Task -- An fMRI Study. Cereb Cortex, 16(4):587-95, 2006.
- Gil-da-Costa R, Braun A, Martin A. Using PET H2O15 to study the functional anatomy of non-human primate communication. Methods, 38(3):221-6, 2006.
- Limb, C.J., Kemeny, S., Ortigoza, E.B., Rouhani, S., Braun, A.R. Left-Hemispheric Lateralization of Brain Activity During Passive Rhythm Perception in Musicians Anat Rec A Discov Mol Cell Evol Biol, 288(4):382-9, 2006.
- Xu, J., Kemeny, S., Park, G., Frattali, C, Braun, A.R. Language in context: Emergent features of word, sentence and narrative comprehension Neuroimage. 25(3):1002-15, 2005.
- Hosey, L.A., Thompson, J.L.W., Verhagen, L.M., van den Munckhof, P., Fromm, S.J. Jeffries, K.J., Varga, M., Braun, A.R. Pharmacodynamics of Apomorphine in Parkinson¹s Disease Studied with H215O PET. Clin Neuropharmacol. 28(1):18-27, 2005.
- Boemio, A., Fromm, S., Braun, A., Poeppel, D.. Symmetry and asymmetry in human auditory cortex response to temporal structure studied with fMRI. Nat Neurosci. 8(3):389-95, 2005.
- Schulz, G., Varga, M., Ludlow, Ç., Braun, A.R. Functional Neuroanatomy of Human Vocalization; An H20-15 PET Study. Cereb Cortex, 15(12):1835-47, 2005.
- Gannon, P.J., Kheck, N.M., Braun, A.R., Holloway, R.L. The planum parietale of chimpanzees and orangutans: A comparative resonance of human-like planum temporale asymmetry. The Anatomical Record, 287A:1128-1141, 2005.
- Stager, S.V., Calis, K., Grothe, D., Bloch, M., Berensen, N., Smith, P.J. Braun, A.R. Treatment with Medications affecting Dopaminergic and Serotonergic Mechanisms: Effects on Fluency and Anxiety in Persons who Stutter Journal of Fluency Disorders, 30:319-335, 2005.
- Gil-da-Costa R, Braun A, Lopes M, Hauser MD, Carson RE, Herscovitch P, Martin A. Towards an evolutionary perspective on conceptual representation: Species-specific calls activate visual and affective processing systems in the macaque. PNAS 2005 (in press).
- Kemeny S, Ye FQ, Birn R, Braun AR. Comparison of continuous overt speech fMRI using BOLD and arterial spin labeling. Human Brain Mapping 24(3):173–183, 2004.
- San Jose-Robertson L, Corina DP, Ackerman D, Guillemin A, Braun AR. Neural systems for sign language production: Mechanisms supporting lexical selection, phonological encoding, and articulation. Human Brain Mapping 23(3):156, 2004.
- Horwitz B, Braun AR. Brain network interactions in auditory, visual and linguistic processing. Brain and Language 89(2):377–84, 2004.
- Poeppel D, Guillemin A, Thompson J, Fritz J, Bavelier D, Braun AR. Auditory lexical decision, categorical perception, and FM direction discrimination differentially engage left and right auditory cortex. Neuropsychologia 42(2):183–200, 2004.
- Stager SV, Jeffries KJ, Braun AR. Common features of fluency-evoking conditions studied in stuttering subjects and controls: an H(2)15O PET study. Journal of Fluency Disorders 28(4):319–35; quiz 336, 2003.
- Horwitz B, Amunts K, Bhattacharyya R, Patkin D, Jeffries K, Zilles K, Braun AR. Activation of Broca's area during the production of spoken and signed language: a combined cytoarchitectonic mapping and PET analysis. Neuropsychologia 41(14):1868–76, 2003.
- Corina DP, San Jose-Robertson L, Guillemin A, High J, Braun AR. Language lateralization in a bimanual language. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 2003 Jul 1;15(5):718–30.
- Jeffries KJ, Fritz JB, Braun AR. Words in melody: an H(2)15O PET study of brain activation during singing and speaking. Neuroreport 14(5):749–54, 2003.
- Balkin TJ, Braun AR, Wesensten NJ, Jeffries K, Varga M, Baldwin P, Belenky G, Herscovitch P. The process of awakening: a PET study of regional brain activity patterns mediating the re-establishment of alertness and consciousness. Brain 125(Pt 10):2308–19, 2002.
- Sevostianov A, Horwitz B, Nechaev V, Williams R, Fromm S, Braun AR. fMRI study comparing names versus pictures of objects. Human Brain Mapping 16(3):168–75, 2002.
- Jeffries KJ, Schooler C, Schoenbach C, Herscovitch P, Chase TN, Braun AR. The functional neuroanatomy of Tourette's syndrome: an FDG PET study III: functional coupling of regional cerebral metabolic rates. Neuropsychopharmacology 2002 Jul;27(1):92–104.
- Husain FT, Nandipati G, Braun AR, Cohen LG, Tagamets MA, Horwitz B. Simulating transcranial magnetic stimulation during PET with a large-scale neural network model of the prefrontal cortex and the visual system. Neuroimage 2002 Jan;15(1):58–73.
- Braun AR, Frankenberger R, Kramer N. Clinical performance and margin analysis of ariston pHc versus Solitaire I as posterior restorations after 1 year. Clinical Oral Investigations 5(3):139–47, 2001.
- Braun AR, Guillemin A, Hosey L, Varga M. The neural organization of discourse: an H2 15O-PET study of narrative production in English and American sign language. Brain 124(Pt 10):2028–44, 2001.
- Tierney, M.C., Varga, M., Christian, M., Hosey, L., Grafman, J., Braun, A.R. PET Evaluation of Bilingual Language Compensation Following Early Childhood Brain Damage. Neuropsychologia 39:114-121, 2001.
- Gannon PJ, Holloway RL, Broadfield DC, Braun AR. Asymmetry of chimpanzee planum temporale: humanlike pattern of Wernicke's brain language area homolog. Science 279(5348):220–2, 1998.
- Braun AR, Balkin TJ, Wesensten NJ, Gwadry F, Varga M, Baldwin P, Carson RE, Belenky G, Herscovitch P. Dissociated Pattern of Activity in Visual Cortices and Their Projections During Human Rapid Eye Movement Sleep. Science 279:91–95, 1998.
- Braun AR, Balkin TJ, Wesensten NJ, Varga M, Baldwin P, Carson RE, Belenky G, Herscovitch P. Regional Cerebral Blood Flow Throughout the Sleep-Wake Cycle: An H2O-15 Positron Emission Tomography Study. Brain 120:1173–1197, 1997 (a).
- Braun AR, Laruelle M, Mouradian MM. Interactions Between D1 and D2 Receptor Family Agonists and Antagonists: The Effects of Chronic Exposure on Behavior and Receptor Binding in Rats and Their Clinical Implications. Journal of Neural Transmission 104:341–362, 1997 (b).
- Braun, A.R., Varga, M., Stager, S., Shulz, G., Selbie, S., Maisog, J.M., Carson, R.E., and Ludlow, C. L. Altered Patterns of Cerebral Activity During Speech and Language Production in Developmental Stuttering. An H2O-15 Positron Emission Tomography Study. Brain, 120:761-784, 1997.
- Braun AR, Randolph C, Stoetter B, Mohr E, Cox C, Carson RE, Herscovitch P, Chase TN. The Functional Neuroanatomy of Tourette Syndrome: An FDG PET study. II. Relationships Between Regional Cerebral Metabolism andAssociated Behavioral and Cognitive Features of the Illness. Neuropsychopharmacology 13:151–168, 1995.
- Braun AR, Stoetter B, Randolph C, Hsiao JK, Vladar K, Gernert J, Carson RE, Herscovitch P, Chase TN. The Functional Neuroanatomy of Touretteís Syndrome: An FDG-PET Study. I. Regional Changes in Cerebral Glucose Metabolism Differentiating Patients and Controls. Neuropsychopharmacology 9(4), 1993 (a).
- Randolph C, Braun A, Goldberg TE, Chase TN. Semantic Fluency in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's Disease: Dissociation of Storage and Retrieval Failures. Journal of Neuropsychology 7:1–7, 1993 (b).
- Braun AR, Chase TN. Behavioral effects of chronic exposure to selective D1 and D2 dopamine receptor agonists. European Journal of Pharmacology 147:441–452, 1988.
- Walters JR, Bergstron DA, Carlson JH, Chase TN, Braun AR. D1 Dopamine receptor activation required for postsynaptic expression of D2 agonist effects. Science 236(480):719–22, 1987.
- Braun AR, Chase TN. Obligatory D1/D2 dopamine receptor interaction in the generation of dopamine agonist related behaviors. European Journal of Pharmacology 131:301–305, 1986.