The study of signed languages provides a unique tool for investigating the functional neural organization of language in the human brain. We use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), structural MRI, and event-related potentials (ERPs) to address the following questions:
- Is the deaf, signing brain different from the hearing, speaking brain?
- What is the nature of the bimodal bilingual brain?
- Are there differences in brain anatomy between signers and speakers?
- How is sign perception different from action perception?
- How is language about space and motion processed by the brain?
- Does using a signed language impact the neural organization for non-linguistic visual processing?
This research is supported by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (R01 DC101977 and R01 DC014246) and by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD047736).
- Emmorey, K., McCullough, S., & Weisberg, J. (2015). Neural correlates of fingerspelling, text, and sign processing in deaf ASL-English bilinguals. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience, 30(6), 749-767. Click to request PDF
- Weisberg, J., McCullough, S., & Emmorey, K. (2015). Simultaneous perception of a spoken and a signed language: The brain basis of ASL-English code-blends. Brain and Language, 147, 96–106.
- Emmorey, K. (2015). The neurobiology of sign language. In A. Toga (Ed), Brain mapping: An encyclopedic reference, vol. 3, pp. 475-478, Oxford, England: Elsevier. Click to request PDF
- Emmorey, K., & Özyurek, A. (2015). Language in our hands: Neural underpinnings of sign language and co-speech gesture. In M. Gazzaniga (Ed.), The Cognitive Neurosciences V., pp. 657–665, The MIT Press. Click to request PDF
- Emmorey, K., McCullough, S., Mehta, S., & Grabowski, T. J. (2014). How sensory-motor systems impact the neural organization for language: Direct contrasts between spoken and signed language. Frontiers in Psychology, 5(484)
- Emmorey, K. (2013). The neurobiology of sign language and the mirror system hypothesis. Language and Cognition, 5(2–3), 205-210.
- Emmorey, K., McCullough, S., Mehta, S., Ponto, L.L.B., & Grabowski, T.J. (2013). The biology of linguistic expression correlates for spatial language. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25(4), 517-533. Click to request PDF
- Allen, J.S., Emmorey, K., Bruss, J., & Damasio,H. (2013). Neuroanatomical differences in visual, motor, and language cortices between congenitally deaf signers, hearing signers, and hearing non-signers. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, 7, 1-10.
- Poeppel, D., Emmorey, K., Hickok, G., & Pylkkänen, L. (2012). Towards a new neurobiology of language. The Journal of Neuroscience, 32(41), 14125-14131.
- McCullough, S., Saygin, A.P., Korpics, F., & Emmorey, K. (2012). Motion-sensitive cortex and motion semantics in American Sign Langauge. NeuroImage, 63, 111-118.
- Emmorey, K., McCullough, S., Mehta,S., & Grabowski, T. (2011). Sign language and pantomime production differentially engage frontal and parietal cortices.Language and Cognitive Processes, 26(7), 878-901.
- Emmorey, K., Xu, J., & Braun, A. (2011). Neural responses to meaningless pseudosigns: Evidence for sign-based phonetic processing in superior temporal cortex. Brain and Language, 117, 34-38.
- Saygin, A., McCullough, S., Alac, M., & Emmorey, K. (2010). Modulation of BOLD response in motion sensitive lateral temporal cortex by real and fictive motion sentences. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22(11), 2480-2490. Click to request PDF
- McCullough, S. & Emmorey, K. (2015). Comparison of cortical gyrification in deaf signers, hearing signers and hearing nonsigners. Poster presented Human Brain Mapping Annual Conference, June, Hawaill. (pdf)
- Vinson, D., Fox, N., Emmorey, K., Devlin, J., & Vigliocco, G. (2013). The role of left superior parietal lobule in sign language production: A TMS study with British Sign Language. Poster presented at the Society for the Neurobiology of Language, November, San Diego, CA. (pdf)
- Emmorey, K., Mehta, S.H., McCullough, S., & Grabowski, T.J. (2013). The neural circuits recruited for the production of fingerspelling and signing. Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience, November, San Diego, CA. (pdf)
- McCullough, S. & Emmorey, K. (2013). Differences in cortical thickness among deaf signers, hearing native signers and hearing nonsigners. Cognitive Neuroscience Society, April, San Francisco, CA. (pdf)
- Niyongabo, I., McCullough, S. & Emmorey, K. (2011). Does the absence of auditory input to the cerebral nervous system during development lead to changes in the structure of the brain? San Diego State University Student Research Symposium. (pdf)