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date: 18 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The field of neuroanatomy of language is moving forward at a fast pace. This progression is partially due to the development of diffusion tractography, which has been used to describe white matter connections in the living human brain. For the field of neurolinguistics, this advancement is timely and important for two reasons. First, it allows clinical researchers to liberate themselves from neuroanatomical models of language derived from animal studies. Second, for the first time, it offers the possibility of testing network correlates of neurolinguistic models directly in the human brain. This chapter introduces the reader to general principles of diffusion imaging and tractography. Examples of its applications to normal language and its disorders will be used to explicate its potentials and limitations.

Keywords: diffusion imaging, tractography, white matter, brain networks, arcuate fasciculus, frontal aslant tract, uncinate fasciculus, aphasia, language recovery, stroke

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