Dr. William Katz, a professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, is the lead author in a study on foreign accent syndrome (FAS), a rare disorder characterized by the emergence of a perceived foreign accent following brain damage.
In this case study, researchers obtained functional magnetic resonance images (fMRI) of the brain during a speech task for an American English-speaking patient who presented with FAS without a known cause and was thought to sound “Swedish” or “Eastern European.” Katz and his team used fMRI during a picture-naming task designed to broadly engage the speech motor network. The results suggested substantial brain reorganization for speech motor control.
Testing of more patients who present with similar characteristics will be needed in order to better understand the neural bases of this disorder, both for patients of unknown etiology and for individuals who acquire FAS as the result of stroke or traumatic brain injury. This case study was published in the journal Neurocase.
Article: “Neural Bases of the Foreign Accent Syndrome: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Case Study”