The primary goal of this application is to promote research and training in the neurobiology of speech and language via support for an annual scientific conference, the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language (SNL). SNL fills a much needed gap in scientific meetings on the neurobiological basis of language by emphasizing the strongest work on the integration of neuroscience research and communication disorders with cognitive, linguistic, psycholinguistic, perceptual, and motor control models of speech and language. In this proposal, we aim (1) to support an annual meeting on the Neurobiology of Language, providing a forum for the interaction of researchers in the full range of allied areas including (a) basic scientific fields of neuroscience, genetics, psychology, linguistics, mathematics, computation, and physics; and (b) clinical scientific fields of neurology, neurosurgery, speech/language pathology, and psychiatry; (2) to expand the breadth of knowledge of researchers in the field by bringing in distinguished keynote speakers in both general neuroscience and language neuroscience; (3) to advance training and education in the neurobiology of language by awarding travel and registration scholarships to students and postdoctoral fellows, and by holding special trainee workshops; and (4) to promote diversity in the field by providing scholarships for conference attendance to members of groups that are under- represented in the relevant disciplines. Because the SNL meeting brings together a broad range of active scientists, clinicians, and students who do not normally interact regularly, we believe these meetings will lead to valuable new interactions, collaborations, and novel ideas in the neurobiology of language, including both basic scientific findings and clinical applications in physiologically-based therapies for neurogenic language disorders.
Language disorders affect millions of people in the United States. There is an extensive research community, with much of this research funded by the NIH, principally NIDCD, but also NINDS, NICHD-NCMRR, and NIA, that targets both basic and clinically-oriented research on the neurobiological basis of language and language disorders. By providing a forum for the communication of new research findings and emerging trends, the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language will play a pivotal role in scientific progress aimed at understanding, diagnosing, and treating language disorders.