Distinguished Career Award
The Distinguished Career Award is generously sponsored by Language, Cognition and Neuroscience.
Probing the neurobiology of language for three decades
Thursday, October 6, 2022, 5:30 - 6:15 pm EST, Regency Ballroom
Chair: Matt Lambon Ralph, University of Cambridge
Speaker: Cathy Price, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
The neurobiology of language, and its many forms, have engaged me on a daily basis for more than 30 years. The types of questions I have investigated include: Which parts of the human brain allow us to meaningfully exchange words and messages and how do the findings vary across individuals? What other functions use the “language” areas and what does this tell us about how language is acquired? How does the neurobiology of language vary with the language spoken and how do bilinguals distinguish and control which language is in use? What changes in our brain when we learn to read and why do some healthy looking brains struggle to read when others find it so easy? Can we predict how language will change if neurological disorders damage the brain regions that typically support language? And how does the brain learn to speak again after it has suffered such damage? When I started thinking about these questions, I assumed that non-invasive functional neuroimaging would provide all the answers. Neuroimaging has indeed transformed our understanding of language but the answers have often been contrary to expectation from other sources of knowledge – and the lessons learnt have not necessarily been related to the questions asked but more about how the questions need to be asked again, in different ways.
About Cathy Price
Cathy Price is a ground-breaking international leader in our field and a professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. Alongside her neuropsychological studies, she was an early pioneer of functional neuroimaging, and was the only woman amongst the first Principal Investigators at the Functional Imaging Laboratory at UCL, when it was founded. She has made numerous notable contributions, including: (a) developing innovative methods and analytics to investigate cognition with fMRI; (b) establishing language-related fMRI as a field; (c) determining the cognitive and neural bases of language across healthy participants and patients. In addition to her substantial body of internationally recognized contributions to cognitive fMRI, she leads the largest-ever study of post-stroke aphasia (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ploras/) which continues to generate important new insights about, and prediction of, recovery of language functions in aphasia.
In addition to her cutting-edge research, Professor Price makes many other substantial contributions. She has been the Director of the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging since 2015. She is a Scientific Advisory Board member for numerous internationally-leading language and neuroimaging research centers. She has been the handling editor for several world-leading journals, served as Secretary for the Organisation of Human Brain Mapping (OHBM), and chaired the nominating committee for SNL. Moreover, professor Price has always promoted the careers of other people. This was formally recognized in the 5th Suffrage award for Life Sciences (2018) and a very high proportion of her past students and postdocs are now world-recognized scientists themselves including Drs. Mummery (UCLH), Gorno-Tempini (UCSF), Phillips (KCL); McCrory (UCL), Mechelli (IoP), and Noppeney (Donders).