@ Martinos Center and Tufts University

Principal Investigator: Gina R. Kuperberg, M.D., Ph.D.

Department of Psychology, Tufts University and Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital


Language, Meaning and Thought – The When and the Where

How do we make sense of the world around us?

Our understanding of the world depends on our ability to combine its individual elements into a meaningful whole. For example, to make sense of language, we must combine the meanings of individual words, and to make sense of visual events, we must combine the meanings of individual objects and scenes.

Our Questions

Our approach

Our lab is addressing these questions by using a cognitive neuroscience approach. In order to investigate “when” and “where”, we are using multimodal imaging techniques. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) detects brain activity with precise spatial (millimeter) resolution. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and magneto-encephalography (MEG) detects brain activity with precise temporal (millisecond) resolution. We are attempting to integrate these techniques to give new insights into the spatiotemporal dynamics of normal and abnormal brain function.


Patients with schizophrenia have difficulties in building up such a coherent gestaldt. These abnormalities may lead to its core symptoms – thought disorder (the disorganization of thought and language), verbal hallucinations (misperceptions of thought and language) and delusions (misinterpretations of the world around us).

Current Grant Funding