The neural mechanisms underlying the success of Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) are
heavily debated. Several studies report that MIT increases language production by recruiting
the right Broca’s homolog through speaking in a sing-song tune, while others find that MIT
promotes greater left-hemisphere activation. Stage in recovery (subacute vs. chronic) has
been reported to influence the lateralization of language processing. Understanding which
areas are responsible for language recovery during therapy is crucial when attempting to
enhance the therapy by electrically stimulating specific neural regions. This research
proposal investigates whether applying transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the
left hemisphere, as opposed to the right hemisphere, will greater enhance MIT among people
with chronic Broca’s aphasia. One group will receive tDCS on the right side of the brain, one
will receive tDCS on the left side of the brain, and a control group receiving sham tDCS, all
while undergoing MIT. Various language tasks and resting-state functional magnetic
resonance imaging will assess the impacts of tDCS combined with MIT on language
production and neural activation.
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