This application for an NIH Pathway to Independence Career Development award is being submitted on behalf of the candidate, Dr. Chantel S. Prat, a postdoctoral fellow currently working at the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging (CCBI) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Dr. Prat's current work uses fMRI to investigate the neural underpinnings of language processes, with emphases on system-level characteristics and individual differences. Her ultimate goal is to transition into an independent research career investigating the dynamic cortical properties underyling normal and impaired language processes. The candidate proposes a program of research combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), fMRI, and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) investigations of healthy and brain damaged individuals to achieve three interrelated goals: (1) investigating the relation between cognitive capacity, functional and structural cortical connectivity, and language laterality; (2) investigating how individual differences in cognitive capacity and language laterality relate to linguistic dysfunction observed following depression of function in focal cortical regions; and (3) investigating recovery from unilateral brain damage as a function of premorbid cognitive capacities, language laterality, and interhemispheric connectivity. This research effort will be supported by three distinguished co-mentors whose combined areas of expertise will prepare her for a productive research career. Dr. Marcel Just, director of the CCBI and co-director of the Brain Imaging Research Center will serve as the primary mentor, offering the candidate his support, his years of experience investigating the neural underpinnings of complex cognition, and access to cutting-edge research facilities. Dr. Eric Wasserman, director of the Brain Stimulation Unit at NINDS will contribute his expertise in the applications of TMS to investigations of the neural correlates of cognition. Dr. Connie Tompkins, professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at the University of Pittsburgh will provide mentorship in the area of neuropsychological investigations of communication deficits, with an emphasis on the role of the right hemisphere in language processes. The results of the proposed research will contribute information crucial to our understanding of linguistic deficits observed following focal brain damage, of recovery from such damage, and of the neural underpinnings of skilled language performance in healthy individuals. ? ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Career Transition Award (K99)
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Communication Disorders Review Committee (CDRC)
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Sklare, Dan
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Carnegie-Mellon University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Yang, Ying; Tompkins, Connie A; Meigh, Kimberly M et al. (2015) Voxel-Based Lesion Symptom Mapping of Coarse Coding and Suppression Deficits in Patients With Right Hemisphere Damage. Am J Speech Lang Pathol 24:S939-52
Prat, Chantel S; Mason, Robert A; Just, Marcel Adam (2012) An fMRI investigation of analogical mapping in metaphor comprehension: the influence of context and individual cognitive capacities on processing demands. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 38:282-94
Prat, Chantel S; Mason, Robert A; Just, Marcel Adam (2011) Individual differences in the neural basis of causal inferencing. Brain Lang 116:1-13
Prat, Chantel S; Just, Marcel Adam (2011) Exploring the neural dynamics underpinning individual differences in sentence comprehension. Cereb Cortex 21:1747-60