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Temporal Impairment in Mapping Events: linguistic and non-linguistic time in aphasia

Project description

New tools for mapping aphasia’s mechanisms

Aphasia is a condition of the inability to process language and communicate, usually the result of brain damage. But its source remains unknown. Current clinical data on temporal impairment suggest that time processing in aphasia should be investigated across various domains. In this context, the EU-funded T.I.M.E. project will pioneer a systematic investigation of time processing in a patient with aphasia using structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study neurobiological basis and behavioural aspects of time processing combined with voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping and diffusion MRI. The goal is to explain the mechanisms of temporal impairment in aphasia and to design new clinical tools.


Locating events on a timeline allows us to keep track of the past, live the present and plan the future. Some individuals can lose this fundamental aspect of human existence: aphasic patients. Aphasia is a language disorder typically caused by a stroke or a head injury that affects the ability to read, write and speak coherently. The source of the temporal impairment in aphasia is still unknown. Previous accounts focused on the linguistic aspect of this deficit, but data coming from clinical case reports and experimental studies suggest that this temporal impairment may not be exclusively linguistic. The main aim of this project is to carry out a systematic investigation of time processing in aphasic patients across different domains and, for the first time, through the use of structural magnetic resonance imaging. Three questions will be addressed: which aspects of time processing are impaired in aphasic patients? Is this impairment language-specific? What is the neurobiological basis of time processing? Behavioral (neurolinguistics/cognitive science) paradigms testing different aspects of non-/linguistic time processing will be combined with a voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM) analysis and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI). VLSM allows to analyze the relationship between lesioned grey matter and patients’ performance on a voxel-by-voxel basis, without the need of grouping patients based on lesion site or behavioral cut-off scores, while dMRI allows to explore which white matter pathways are also affected. Diffusion indexes will be also used to analyze the relationship between white matter fiber tract integrity and patients' performance. This proposal will provide answers to long-standing questions concerning the nature of the temporal impairment in aphasic patients and the neural underpinnings of time processing. This work will also lay the foundations for the development of new clinical tools for aphasic patients suffering temporal impairment.


Net EU contribution
€ 245 732,16
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Noreste País Vasco Gipuzkoa
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00

Partners (1)