Aphasia is an acquired language disorder most often caused by stroke (as well as traumatic brain injury, dementia, and more). Aphasia results in impairments in the production and comprehension of language that can significantly compromise a person’s ability to communicate in all facets of life. At the heart of the lab’s mission is clinical research focused on the development and systematic evaluation of novel treatments for aphasia that aim to improve effective communication in persons with aphasia.
Missions of the Lab:
- Research: The overarching research goal of the lab is to develop and test interventions for aphasia that aid communication abilities in person with bilingual and monolingual aphasia. Our treatments primarily focus on improving sentence and discourse production in speech and writing/typing. We also aim to improve assessment and treatment provided via teletherapy and in computer use in general. In addition, we are committed to developing assessment materials for persons with Spanish-English bilingual aphasia, for which there are currently no valid materials. We also conduct a variety of other types of studies using eye tracking and other methodologies to understand better language processes in adults with and without aphasia.
- Education and Mentoring: A primary goal of the lab is to provide Masters and Doctoral students as well as other interested researchers opportunities to conduct research in the lab and/or to collaborate on projects.
- Clinical Implications: The driving mission of the lab is to develop assessment and treatment protocols and materials to speech-language pathologists to provide them evidence-based options for serving their patients with aphasia. We also aim to work with persons with aphasia and their families within the community.
Our Current and Ongoing Research Involves Projects That Target:
- Improved word retrieval in spoken and written/typed sentences and discourse (Verb Network Strengthening Treatment (VNeST)).
- Improved written discourse (Attentive Reading and Constrained Summarization-Writing (ARCS-W)).
- The effectiveness of some aphasia treatments provided through telerehabilitation (where the participants are at home, and the clinicians are in the clinic), since there is a pressing need to provide access to treatment to people who cannot regularly get to a therapist.
- The development of assessment materials for persons with Spanish-English bilingual aphasia, as there is a shortage of materials to assess the effects of aphasia in this population.
- Assessment of writing impairments (dysgraphia) in the typed modality.
- Variables that affect reading comprehension (via eye tracking).