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ProGram makes use of several different methods to investigate the brain's processing of grammar, e.g.

  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation)
  • EEG (electroencephalography)
  • behavioural studies (e.g. measuring reaction times)
  • corpus studies of speech from individuals with aphasia and healthy individuals

 

DRCMR's Robot used for TMS

MRI, TMS, and EEG are used to examine the localization and timing of brain activity when processing grammar. These methods require special neuroscientific equipment, and such experiments are conducted at Hvidovre Hospital. For example, ProGram uses a special robot to conduct TMS experiments. See a picture of the robot on the right. The robot is made available by DRCMR (Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance).

ProGram's behavioural experiments usually take place on a regular computer where the participants are asked to solve a series of tasks either by pressing a button or by verbal response. The behavioural experiments give us information about e.g. how quickly and how precisely the brain processes grammar and lexicon.

ProGram also examines differences and similarities between the speech of individuals with agrammatic aphasia and healthy individuals. These studies analyse speech from individuals with and without aphasia. As grammar varies between languages, the researches of ProGram also test their hypotheses using material from different languages, e.g. Danish and French.

ProGram also carries out theoretical work e.g. by developing models that describe how grammar is processed. These models provide input for hypotheses of new experiments.

Alltogether, these different methods make it possible for ProGram to examine how the brain processes grammar.