Speaker: JED MELTZER, Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest and Psychology Department, University of Toronto
Title: Right Brain, Left Brain - friends or foes? Interhemispheric cooperation and competition
Ebbinghaus Empire Series 2018-2019
Video Recording of Talk
Abstract: The two hemispheres of the human brain can function as independent information processors, yet they are heavily connected and routinely transmit information to each other. Behavioural studies have defined a myriad of conditions under which interhemispheric interactions can be described as “cooperative” or “competitive,” but direct physiological evidence of these interactions to characterize them as excitatory vs. inhibitory is scarce, especially in regions other than motor cortex. Greater understanding of excitatory and inhibitory interactions between the hemispheres is critically needed now that noninvasive brain stimulation techniquesare showing promise for treatment of disorders such as stroke, dementia, and depression, and many of these techniques are predicated on the idea of correcting imbalances in mutual interhemispheric inhibition. I will present behavioural and magnetoencephalography (MEG) findings showing that: 1) sharing of linguistic information between the two hemispheres can be detected with MEG, 2) changes in the balance of activation for language comprehension in stroke and dementia are largely compensatory, not maladaptive, 3) noninvasive brain stimulation can improve language processing by both correcting abnormal activity adjacent to a lesion and enhancing activation in the opposite hemisphere, and 4) it may ultimately be possible to distinguish between excitatory and inhibitory interactions as being manifested in different frequency bands.
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