Prof. Dr. Guy Vingerhoets | Professor of Neuropsychology
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My research is structured along three research lines.
Together with tool use, language can be considered a typically human ability. The neural organization of this strongly lateralized function is complex, but by means of transcranial Doppler ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging functional asymmetries of distinct language functions can be studied. Our language research focused on several less well investigated topics such as multilingualism, prosody, and narrative comprehension. In addition, we have contributed to the non-invasive assessment of language dominance in adults and children which is important in a neurosurgical context.
Intrigued by the strong laterlization of language and praxis, we became interested in structural and functional brain asymmetry. By studiying partcipants with atypical lateralizations of for example language or visceral organization, we hope to contribute to a better understanding of human asymmetry.
Motor cognition refers to the representation of action and its associated processes. Although our interest in this field was sparked by the spectacular symptoms of apraxia in patients following stroke, our approach focuses mainly on neuroimaging in healthy volunteers to unravel the neural correlates of action representation. We investigated the neural underpinnings of tools and tool use, motor resonance and action priming, motor imagery, grasp selection, and the influence of handedness and language dominance on the lateralization of the praxis network. We also aim to translate these fundamental insights for clinical use by investigating the optimal conditions of motor resonance and by assessing the contribution of motor imagery in stroke recovery.
In this research line the focus is on the patient suffering from brain damage. Brain dysfunction may be obvious, as in classical neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, or it may be presumed, as in some developmental disorders. Clinical neuropsychological research aims to contribute to a better description and understanding of the cognitive disturbances involved, discover ways that could speed up diagnosis, and provide guidelines and methods for a better and safer treatment outcome. Our research involved studies on Parkinson's Disease, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, developmental coordination disorder, and traumatic brain injury.
In medical neuropsychology, we seek to understand how non-neurological disease and its treatment impacts on the cognitive and cerebral integrity of the patient. My first steps in neuropsychological research involved the assessment of cognitive disabilities following cardiac disease and open heart surgery. Since my PhD dissertation on this subject our group continued to do research on the relation between cardiovascular disease and cognition, including cardiopulmonary bypass, congenital heart disease, and carotid artery disease.
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