Simultaneous normalization and compensatory changes in right hemisphere connectivity during aphasia therapy

Tammar Truzman, Elizabeth Rochon, Jed Meltzer, Carol Leonard, Tali Bitan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Changes in brain connectivity during language therapy were examined among participants with aphasia (PWA), aiming to shed light on neural reorganization in the language network. Four PWA with anomia following left hemisphere stroke and eight healthy controls (HC) participated in the study. Two fMRI scans were administered to all participants with a 3.5-month interval. The fMRI scans included phonological and semantic tasks, each consisting of linguistic and perceptual matching conditions. Between the two fMRI scans, PWA underwent Phonological Components Analysis treatment. Changes in effective connectivity during the treatment were examined within right hemisphere (RH) architecture. The results illustrate that following the treatment, the averaged connectivity of PWA across all perceptual and linguistic conditions in both tasks increased resemblance to HC, reflecting the normalization of neural processes associated with silent object name retrieval. In contrast, connections that were specifically enhanced by the phonological condition in PWA decreased in their resemblance to HC, reflecting emerging compensatory reorganization in RH connectivity to support phonological processing. These findings suggest that both normalization and compensation play a role in neural language reorganization at the chronic stage, occurring simultaneously in the same brain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1330
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - 8 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Aphasia
  • DCM
  • Effective connectivity
  • Language network
  • Language recovery
  • PEB
  • Speech therapy
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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