"There is no 'centre of Speech' in the brain any more than there is a faculty of Speech in the mind. The entire brain, more or less, is at work in a man who uses language."
From The Principles of Psychology, 1890
Chapter II, "The Functions of the Brain"
Communication is accompanied by an abundance of contextual information relevant to speech perception and language comprehension, including both sensory information external to the listener (so-called "non-verbal" behavior, e.g., observed mouth movements and co-speech gestures) and knowledge or expectations internal to the listener (e.g., those associated with the meaning of words). Most behavioral and neurobiological language research, however, discards context in favor of studying isolated speech sounds or words.
In contrast, the long-term objective of the Language, Action, and Brain Lab (i.e., the "L.A.B. Lab") is to understand the neural mechanisms of language (and action) in the real-world social settings in which the brain evolved, develops, and normally functions. Our research is guided by a theoretical model of communication in which the brain actively makes use of context to aid in speech perception and language comprehension by using this information to generate predictions about forthcoming sensory patterns to constrain linguistic interpretation.
Using behavioral (eye and mouse tracking), physiological (EMG and GSR), electrophysiological (MEG and EEG), and neuroimaging (fMRI) methods to test and continue to elaborate this model, our research has resulted in theoretical advances with respect to understanding how the brain makes use of naturally occurring context and methodological advances that permit the analysis multimodal data resulting from naturalistic or more ecological stimuli.
If you have any comments or suggestions, please submit them at the "Comments?" page.