Research

Broader motivation

I am particularly interested in developing approaches to neuro-rehabilitation that address and harness the complexity of everyday communication.

The mind and brain process information in a continuous way, over time, and there is good evidence that we are constantly learning (even into old age). I am interested in the language system as a whole, dynamic set of functions. For example, how different processes interact, how we can more closely model the reality of language processing, how we define linguistic representations, and the importance of context for processing.

My work translates between theory and clinical practice. This means I try to understand the mechanisms and motivation for assessment, intervention and strategies to support adults with acquired speech, language and communication needs as a result of neurological damage.

I have listed more specific topics and current grants / projects below.


PhD Supervision

If you are interested in pursuing a dissertation project or PhD with me , please get in touch. I am interested in supervising projects in any area of my research interests (see below).

Current doctoral students

Willemijn Doedens - Working title: Functional communication in Aphasia. Co-supervision with Dr. Arpita Bose.

Mariam Alorifan - Working title: The interaction between semantic and articulatory processes in speech production. Co-supervision with Dr. Arpita Bose.

Viva December 2018 Madhawi Altaib - 'The feasibility of Using Telepractice Delivery Method to Assess People with Aphasia in Gulf Arabic Countries (Saudi Arabia and Kuwait). Co-supervision with Prof. Theo Marinis

Viva complete! Luke Kendrick - 'Beyond language: Executive control and learning abilities in non-fluent aphasia'. Co-supervision with Dr. Holly Robson.

Previous doctoral students

Catherine Godbold - 'Non-word errors in jargon aphasia: Exploring the underlying mechanisms'. Awarded 2016. Co-supervision with Dr. Arpita Bose.

Mohammad Alameer - 'Anxiety and motor speech treatments of stammering'. Awarded 2015. Co-supervision with Dr. David Ward.

Topics

  • Assessment and intervention for neurogenic speech and language disorders
  • Research as part of clinical practice for speech & language therapists / supporting clinical-academic careers
  • Learning and rehabilitation
  • Semantic processing
  • Situated / embodied / naturalistic communication
  • How language interacts with 'non-linguistic' cognitive processes
  • Best practice in statistics and using R for data analysis cran.r-project.org


Current projects

  • Building a large, sharable, database of behavioural data from assessments/experiments with individuals who have aphasia following stroke. See our lab page for more details
  • Developing assessment and rehabilitation approaches that target language as it is used in situated/real-world contexts.
  • Exploring the relationship between learning, functional communication and therapy outcomes for individuals with aphasia


Grants

  • PCLS Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund "Introducing core concepts for the behavioural sciences: piloting data collection as an integral part of research methods teaching". Principal Investigator. £1955. 2017-2018.
  • University of Reading 2020 Research Fellowship. Principal Investigator. £4000. Spring/Summer 2017.
  • "Closing the digital divide and enhancing participation in social and leisure activities for individuals with acquired brain injury through near field communication technology". Collaborator. PI: Dr. Rachel McCrindle. £9838. NIHR Brain Injury Healthcare Technology Co-Operative Seedcorn Funding Competition 2016-2017.
  • "Multidisciplinary computer-based motor and language therapy for acquired brain injury". Co-applicant. PI: Dr. Holly Robson. £9984. NIHR Brain Injury Innovation Small Funding Competition 2014-2015.
  • "Database of Acquired Language Impairment Profiles (DALIP): a resource for exploring the nature and impact of language processing difficulties in adults with neurological impairments" Principal Investigator. Co-applicants: Dr. Arpita Bose & Dr. Holly Robson £23789. British Academy ARP scheme, AN140005, 2014-2019.
  • "Mixed models and the Exploration of the Language System". Principal Investigator. £6827. British Academy, SQ120069, 2013-2014.
  • "Grades of processing in language comprehension". Principal Investigator.£1280. Research Endowment Trust Fund Pump Priming Award, 2011.

Methods

  • Case-studies and case-series of patient groups
  • Experimental psychology
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
  • Structural and functional imaging (MRI)