Narly Golestani

1) Head of Brain and Language Lab, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine,

University Medical Center (CMU), 1, rue Michel-Servet, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland,

Email: Narly.Golestani [at] unige.ch


I am Assistant Professor at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Geneva (Switzerland).

The Brain and Language Lab, which is affiliated with the Dept of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Geneva, aims at better understanding the brain functional and structural bases of speech and language, and of language-related learning. We use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) to study the brain functional bases of language and multilingualism, with an emphasis on specific language components such as phonology and grammar, but also on the interplay between non-linguistic functions and second language usage such as during simultaneous interpretation. We also use anatomical MRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in order to uncover normative and expertise-related brain structure-behaviour relationships. We look for convergence across functional and structural imaging methods in order to better understand how the brain changes both functionally as well as structurally due to language learning and expertise. Finally, we aim to elucidate the relative contributions of experience versus of pre-existing, possibly innate influences on individual differences in linguistic/auditory skills and brain function/structure.




Publications

  • Journal publications

1. Hervais-Adelman, A.*, Pefkou, M.*, & Golestani, N.  (2014). Bilingual speech-in-noise: Neural bases of semantic context use in the native language. Brain and Language, 132, 1-6. PDF

2. Scharnowski, F., Rosa, M.J., Golestani, N., Hutton, C., Josephs, O., Weiskopf, N. & Rees, G. (2014). Connectivity changes underlying neurofeedback training of visual cortex activity. PLOS ONE, 9(3). PDF

3. Golestani. N. Brain structural correlates of individual differences at low- to high- levels of the language processing hierarchy: a review of new approaches to imaging research (2014). International Journal of Bilingualism, 18(1), 6-34. PDF

4. Golestani, N., Hervais-Adelman, A., Obleser, J., Scott, S.K. (2013). Semantic versus perceptual interactions in neural processing of speech-in-noise. Neuroimage, 79, 52-61. PDF

5. Evans, S., Kyong, J.S., Rosen, S., Golestani, N., Warren, J., McGettigan, C., Mourao-Miranda, J., Wise, R. J. and Scott, S.K. (in press, published online before print on April 12, 2013, doi:10.1093/cercor/bht083). The pathways for intelligible speech: multivariate and univariate perspectives. Cerebral Cortex. PDF

6. Hervais-Adelman, A., Moser-Mercer, B. & Golestani, N. (2011). Executive control of language in the bilingual brain: Integrating the evidence from neuroimaging to neuropsychology. Frontiers in Psychology, 2:234. PDF

7. Golestani, N., Price, C.J., Scott, S. K. (2011) Born with an ear for dialects? Structural plasticity in the ‘expert’ phonetician brain. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31(11), 4213-4220. PDF

8. Vandermosten, M., Boets, B., Luts, H., Poelmans, H., Golestani, N., Wouters, J., Ghesquière, P. (2010).  What you hear is what you read: auditory processing in dyslexia. PNAS, 107 (23), 10389-10394. PDF

9. Golestani, N., Rosen, S., Scott, S. K. (2009).  Native-language benefit for understanding speech-in-noise: the contribution of semantics. Bilingualism:  Language and Cognition, 12(3), 385-392. PDF

10. Golestani, N. & Zatorre, R.J. (2009).  Individual differences in the acquisition of second language phonology.  Brain & Language, 109, 55-67.  PDF

11. Douaud, G., Behrens, T.E., Poupon, C., Cointepas, Y., Jbabdi, S., Gaura, V., Golestani, N., Krystkowiak, P., Verny, C., Damier, P., Bachoud-Lévi, A.C., Hantraye, P., Remy, P.  (2009).  DTI characterises in vivo the selective neuronal degeneration in Huntington’s disease. Neuroimage, 46(6), 958-966.  PDF

12. Golestani, N. & Pallier, C. (2007).  Anatomical correlates of foreign speech sound production. Cerebral Cortex. 17(4), 929-934.  PDF

13. Golestani, N., Molko, N., Pallier, C., Dehaene, S., & Le Bihan, D. (2007).  Brain structure predicts the learning of foreign speech sounds.  Cerebral Cortex, 17(3), 575-582.  PDF

14. Rodrigo, S., Naggara, O., Oppenheim, C., Golestani, N., Poupon, C., Cointepas, Y., Mangin, J.F., Le Bihan, D., & Meder, J.F. (2007).  Human subinsular asymmetry studied by diffusion tensor imaging and fiber tracking.  American Journal of Neuroradiology 28(8),1526-31.  PDF

15. Rodrigo, S., Oppenheim, C., Chassoux, F., Golestani, N., Cointepas, Y., Poupon, C., Semah, F., Mangin, J.F., Le Bihan, D., Meder, J.F. (2007).  Uncinate fasciculus fiber tracking in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Initial findings.  European Radiology, 17(7),1663-8.  PDF

16. Golestani, N., Alario, F.-X., Meriaux, S., Le Bihan, D., Dehaene, S., & Pallier, C. (2006).  Syntax production in bilinguals.  Neuropsychologia, 44(7), 1029-40. PDF

17. Dodel, S., Golestani, N., Pallier, C., ElKouby, V., Le Bihan, D., & Poline, J.B. (2005) Condition-dependant functional connectivity: syntax networks in bilinguals.  Philosophical Transactions (Royal Society): Biological Sciences, special issue on brain connectivity, 360 (1457), 921-935.  PDF

18. Perrin, M, Poupon, C., Cointepas, Y., Rieul, B., Golestani, N., Pallier, C., Riviere, D., Constantinesco, A., Le Bihan, D., Mangin, J.F.  (2005).  Fiber tracking in q-ball fields using regularized particle trajectories.  In: Information processing in medical imaging, 19, 52-63.  PDF

19. El Kouby, V, Cointepas, Y, Poupon, C, Riviere, D, Golestani, N., Poline, JB, Le Bihan, D, Mangin, JF. (2005) MR diffusion-based inference of a fiber bundle model from a population of subjects.  International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention, 8(Pt 1),196-204.  PDF

20. Golestani, N. & Zatorre, R.J. (2004) Learning new sounds of speech: Reallocation of neural substrates. Neuroimage, 21(2), 494-506.  PDF

21. Golestani, N., Paus, T., & Zatorre, R.J. (2002).  Anatomical correlates of learning novel speech sounds.  Neuron, 35, 997-1010.  PDF

22. Ward, L.M., Armstrong, J., & Golestani, N. (1999).  Memory for psychophysical scaling judgements.  Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 6(3), 472-478.  PDF

23. Ward, L.M., Armstrong, J., & Golestani, N. (1996).  Intensity resolution and subjective magnitude in psychophysical scaling.  Perception & Psychophysics58(5), 793-801.  PDF


  •          Book chapters
1. Ward, L.M., McDonald, J.A., & Golestani, N. (1998).  Cross-modal control of attention shifts.  R. Wright (Ed.) Visual Attention.  New York: Oxford University Press, pp 232-268. 

* The first two authors contributed equally




Media / Public awareness

Here are some links to media coverage of our work. 

1. March 6, 2014: Radio télévision suisse (RTS, ‘La 1ère’) live interview on involvement of linguistic brain regions in recent study on music and the brain: here

2. Nov 20, 2013: Science & Vie magazine: Two back-to-back articles about our and other work on the brain, expertise and plasticity (in French) 

3. June 2013: Short Swiss radio interview on language learning in school for children: click here (go to minute 6'10'')

4. November 2012: Short Swiss television report on our work on brain plasticity in simultaneous interpreters, click here (go to minute 21'30")

5. March 2012: Documentary in French on the brain and it's plasticity: click here, or for youtube link, here

6. March 2012: Talk and round table discussion (in French) with Professors Uli Frauenfelder (linguist) and Marina Laganaro (speech pathologist): click here

7. Documentary on language and brain white matter, made for Belgian TV 

8. May 2007: The Economist article on our work, click here

9. April 2006: New Scientist article on our work, click here

10. April 2006: BBC article on our work, click here

11. April 2006: Radio Netherlands interview on our work 


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Narly Golestani,
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Narly Golestani,
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