Stefan Knecht

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Although phantom-limb pain is a frequent consequence of the amputation of an extremity, little is known about its origin. On the basis of the demonstration of substantial plasticity of the somatosensory cortex after amputation or somatosensory deafferentation in adult monkeys, it has been suggested that cortical reorganization could account for some(More)
In most people the left hemisphere of the brain is dominant for language. Because of the increased incidence of atypical right-hemispheric language in left-handed neurological patients, a systematic association between handedness and dominance has long been suspected. To clarify the relationship between handedness and language dominance in healthy subjects,(More)
Regular physical exercise improves cognitive functions and lowers the risk for age-related cognitive decline. Since little is known about the nature and the timing of the underlying mechanisms, we probed whether exercise also has immediate beneficial effects on cognition. Learning performance was assessed directly after high impact anaerobic sprints, low(More)
Language proficiency is a key to academic and workplace success for native and non-native speakers. It is largely unknown, however, why some people pick up languages more easily than others. We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (e-fMRI) to elucidate which brain regions are modulated during the acquisition of a novel lexicon and which(More)
Our knowledge about the variability of cerebral language lateralization is derived from studies of patients with brain lesions and thus possible secondary reorganization of cerebral functions. In healthy right-handed subjects 'atypical', i.e. right hemisphere language dominance, has generally been assumed to be exceedingly rare. To test this assumption we(More)
Previous studies have suggested beneficial effects of physical activity on cognition. Here, we asked in an interventional approach if physical activity performed at different intensity levels would differentially affect episodic memory function. Additionally, we tried to identify mechanisms mediating these changes. Sixty-two healthy elderly individuals were(More)
Magnetic source imaging revealed that the topographic representation in the somatosensory cortex of the face area in upper extremity amputees was shifted an average of 1.5 cm toward the area that would normally receive input from the now absent nerves supplying the hand and fingers. Observed alterations provide evidence for extensive plastic reorganization(More)
This study employed whole head magnetoencephalography and synthetic aperture magnetometry to investigate the cortical topography of the preparation and the execution of volitional and reflexive water swallowing and of a simple tongue movement. Concerning movement execution, activation of the mid-lateral primary sensorimotor cortex was strongly lateralized(More)
Various methods have been proposed to calculate a lateralization index (LI) on the basis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. Most of them are either based on the extent of the activated brain region (i.e., the number of "active" voxels) or the magnitude of the fMRI signal change. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the(More)
Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a reliable technique to improve motor learning. We here wanted to test its potential to enhance associative verbal learning, a skill crucial for both acquiring new languages in healthy individuals and for language reacquisition after stroke-induced aphasia. We applied tDCS (20 min, 1 mA) over the(More)