How the Brain Produces Language --and What Can Go Wrong

Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations
November 17, 2015, Belmont Media Center, Belmont MA

Frank Guenther, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences; Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering; Director, Boston University Speech Lab; Director, Boston University Neural Prosthesis Lab

Dr. Guenther is a prominent expert in the neural processes underlying speech, the most complex of all human motor processes. He is the developer of the leading model speech processing (DIVA model) and is a major contributor to the development of brain-computer-interface devices that enable patients with locked-in syndrome to communicate. His work has been widely reported in the media (examples below).

In addition to his B.U. appointments he has been a research affiliate at two major MIT labs, a member of the Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology PhD program in the Harvard University – MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, and a visiting scientist in the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

In this discussion Dr. Guenther explains some basics about the complexity of both normal speech and speech disorders. He describes the neural networks for speech production and how speech mechanisms are revealed in the DIVA model. In addition, he talks about his work on a brain-computer-interface system that makes communication possible for patients with locked-in syndrome.

Some resources on Frank Guenther's contributions to the understanding of brain mechanisms for speech: