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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurol. | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00295

Neuroplasticity of Language Networks in Aphasia: Advances, Updates and Future Challenges

  • 1Boston University, United States
  • 2Northwestern University, United States

Researchers have sought to understand how language is processed in the brain, how brain damage affects language abilities, and what can be expected during the recovery period since the early 19th century. In this review, we first discuss mechanisms of damage and plasticity in the post-stroke brain, both in the acute and the chronic phase of recovery. We then review factors that are associated with recovery. First, we review organism intrinsic variables such as age, lesion volume and location and structural integrity that influence language recovery. Next, we review organism extrinsic factors such as treatment that influence language recovery. Here, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of language recovery and highlight recent work that emphasizes a network perspective of language recovery. Finally, we propose our interpretation of the principles of neuroplasticity, originally proposed by Kleim and Jones (2008) in the context of extant literature in aphasia recovery and rehabilitation. Ultimately, we encourage researchers to propose sophisticated intervention studies that bring us closer to the goal of providing precision treatment for patients with aphasia and a better understanding of the neural mechanisms that underlie successful neuroplasticity.

Keywords: Stroke, Aphasia, Neuroimaging (anatomic and functional), plasticity, Recovery

Received: 04 Sep 2018; Accepted: 06 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Paola Marangolo, University of Naples Federico II, Italy

Reviewed by:

Simon Fischer-Baum, Rice University, United States
Gesa Hartwigsen, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Germany  

Copyright: © 2019 Kiran and Thompson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Swathi Kiran, Boston University, Boston, United States, kirans@bu.edu