Language production and working memory in classic galactosemia from a cognitive neuroscience perspective: future research directions.
Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Most humans are social beings and we express our thoughts and feelings through language. In contrast to the ease with which we speak, the underlying cognitive and neural processes of language production are fairly complex and still little understood. In the hereditary metabolic disease classic galactosemia, failures in language production processes are among the most reported difficulties. It is unclear, however, what the underlying neural cause of this cognitive problem is. Modern brain imaging techniques allow us to look into the brain of a thinking patient online - while she or he is performing a task, such as speaking. We can measure indirectly neural activity related to the output side of a process (e.g. articulation). But most importantly, we can look into the planning phase prior to an overt response, hence tapping into subcomponents of speech planning. These components include verbal memory, intention to speak, and the planning of meaning, syntax, and phonology. This paper briefly introduces cognitive theories on language production and methods used in cognitive neuroscience. It reviews the possibilities of applying them in experimental paradigms to investigate language production and verbal memory in galactosemia.
- [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]