Our exploration of the dynamics between language and semantic, labels and concepts, includes the study of how the association between words and their meaning is built, as well as how developmet (and issues during development) affects that association.

Learning novel concepts

Vigano, S., Borghesani, V., & Piazza, M. (2021) Symbolic categorization of novel multisensory stimuli in the human brain. NeuroImage, p.118016.

We used fMRI to study how the brain categorizes multisensory objects using words. After learning, sensory cortices showed segregation of objects’ features. Frontoparietal cortices showed integration, encoding individual object identities. The right hippocampus and, to some extent, the left angular gyrus, encoded object-name associations. The hippocampus showed highest abstraction and predicted category naming performance.

Bilgin, I. P., Guay, S., Borgheshani V., Oostenveld, R., Nasuto, S. J., Saddy, D.J.,(2021), The Emergence of the Neural Representation of Novel Words through Narrative Reading Society for the Neurobiology of Language

An fMRI and EEG experiment showing network-level reorganization driven by concept learning.

Neurodevelopmental studies

Borghesani, V., Wang, G., Mandelli, M., Cavesarzi, E., Battistella, G., etc… & Gorno-Tempini, M.L. (2021) Functional and morphological correlates of developmental dyslexia: a multimodal investigation of the ventral occipitotemporal cortex. Journal of Neuroimaging.

We compared function and morphology of the ventral occipitotemporal cortex (vOT) in typically developing (14) and dyslexic (26) children. Dyslexics show less functional neural tuning to words and less orientation coherence, yet similar neurite density. Thus, dyslexia appears associated with both functional and morphological alterations in vOT.

Borghesani, V., Wang, C., Miller, C., Mandelli, M., Miller, Z., Fox, C., Gorno-Tempini, M.L. & Watson, C. (2021) The resilience of the developing reading system: multi-modal evidence of incident and recovery after a pediatric stroke. Neurocase

We report on a 14-year-old female with temporary dyslexia after a left ventral occipitotemporal ischemic stroke. Our longitudinal multimodal findings show that the resolution of the reading impairment was associated with heightened activity in the left posterior superior and inferior temporal gyri. Our findings highlight the role of the left inferior temporal gyrus in reading and the importance of perilesional and ipsilateral cortical areas for functional recovery after childhood stroke.