Neurobiology of language recovery after stroke: lessons from neuroimaging studies

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Jan;93(1 Suppl):S15-25. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2011.03.036.


Language is organized in large-scale, predominantly left-lateralized, temporo-parieto-frontal networks in the human brain. After focal brain damage (eg, ischemic stroke), this network organization enables the brain to adaptively reorganize language functions in order to compensate lesion effects. Here, we summarize how structural and functional neuroimaging methods contribute to the current understanding of loss and recovery of language functions after stroke. This includes voxelwise lesion-behavior mapping, functional imaging for mapping reorganizational mechanisms from acute to chronic stroke, as well as imaging based outcome prediction. The review is complemented by an introductory section on language organization in the healthy brain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aphasia / etiology*
  • Aphasia / rehabilitation
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Recovery of Function*
  • Speech / physiology*
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / physiopathology*