The ability to speak is one of the most intriguing and complex functions of the human brain. When this ability is hindered due to brain injury, it can have a devastating impact on the person's quality of life. The overarching goal of our research is to improve communication outcomes for individuals whose ability to speak has been impacted by brain injury, a condition called aphasia. We are specifically interested in sentence production and word retrieval abilities and their breakdown in aphasia, language learning and training-induced neural plasticity, and their interaction with bilingualism and cognitive mechanisms.
Our studies focus on neurologically healthy individuals and those with stroke-induced left hemisphere injury (a condition called aphasia). Most of our research uses on behavioral paradigms, but we also utilize cognitive neuroscience methods (including MEG, and fMRI).
Decoupling of domain general cognitive control and word retrieval in aphasia in Journal of Speech Language & Hearing Research
This study, for the first time, shows that processing speed is compromised in individuals with aphasia. The above image, which summarizes the findings, shows that individual differences in processing speed, cognitive control, and language abilities predict word retrieval speed.
Diagnostic Markers of Language Impairment in Bilingual Adults by National Institutes of Health, R-21.
This project is a psychometric investigation of clinical language measures in English for Spanish-English speaking bilingual adults across multiple language domains. The outcomes of this project will improve diagnostic accuracy and therefore reduce health disparities for bilingual adults with aphasia.
Treatment of Sentence Production for Persons with Aphasia
This study examines if training to produce specific types of sentences (e.g. past tense) will also improve other untrained sentence types. We are currently recruiting persons with aphasia for this study. You can read more about participating in our research here.