Studying How Left and Right Sides of Brain Affect Language

The core focus behind the work of Edward W. Wlotko, PhD, director of MRRI’s Cognitive Neurophysiology and Neuropsychology Lab is an examination of how the brain is able to understand language. He is particularly interested in uncovering how the two cerebral hemispheres each distinctly and jointly contribute to language processing. In this video, Dr. Wlotko describe his current research into the way hemispheric contributions to language processing may differ across individuals, with and without neuropsychological injury or disorder.

Continue Reading


Dr. Wlotko Receives NIH Grant for Study of Sentence Comprehension in Aphasia

MRRI Institute Scientist Edward Wlotko, PhD, will serve as principal investigator of a subcontract award totaling more than $1M from the National Institutes of Health. The research is part of a grant, entitled “Cognitive control and sentence processing in aphasia,” received by Malathi Thothathiri, Ph.D., of the Department of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences at George Washington University. Dr. Thothathiri is a former postdoctoral fellow at MRRI. Continue Reading


Dr. Kantak Receives NIH Grant for Stroke Studies

Shailesh Kantak, PhD, PT, MRRI research scientist and director of the Institute’s Neuroplasticity and Motor Behavior Laboratory, has been awarded a $1.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The studies to be conducted under the grant, titled “Perceptual motor interaction to improve bimanual coordination after stroke,” will focus on people who have had strokes. The studies will determine how motor and perceptual task demands of a bimanual reaching task interact to influence coordination between arms; the effects of changing perceptual and motor task demands on bimanual coordination; and the behavioral, neuroanatomic and neurophysiologic contributors to individual differences in bimanual coordination.

Continue Reading


Buxbaum Receives 2018 Viste Award

Laurel J. Buxbaum, PsyD, associate director of the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, has received the 2018 Viste Award from the American Society of Neurorehabilitation (ASNR).

The award honors Kenneth M. Viste, Jr., MD, who was a tireless advocate for neurorehabilitation and ASNR. According to the organization, the award is presented annually “to an individual that has supported the mission and vision of ASNR over the course of his or her career, by supporting neurorehabilitation as a field, engaging in clinical and educational work, and making our medical peers aware of the importance of neurorehabilitation.” Continue Reading



Dog-training Program May Benefit People With Aphasia

People with post-stroke aphasia have difficulty recalling words, and may also struggle putting words together into grammatically correct sentences or understanding what is said to them.

However – and perhaps because of – their language impairment, these people often excel at pragmatic communication, using facial expression, tone of voice, and body language, all types of communication to which animals respond more readily than the spoken word. This proficiency makes them ideal candidates for learning and implementing dog-training techniques.

In this video, Sharon Antonucci, PhD, director of the MossRehab Aphasia Center, talks about the Center’s pilot program to teach people with aphasia techniques for training their pets as a means of benefiting the patients themselves. Continue Reading


Creating a Path to Improved Naming in People with Aphasia

Aphasia can be quite frustrating  for people who struggle to communicate. In addition to naming difficulties, some people with aphasia experience comprehension impairment, where hearing or reading the name of an object conveys the wrong image or meaning.

Erica Middleton, PhD, has been studying naming problems for eight years. Her last six years have been spent researching how people with aphasia can relearn and comprehend names, first as a Post-Doc at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI), and now as the Institute Scientist leading MRRI’s Language and Learning Laboratory.

In this video, Dr. Middleton talks about a five year, $2.4 million grant she received from the National Institutes of Health that will lead to a theory of learning needed to advance aphasia rehabilitation.


Myrna Schwartz Appears on Aphasia Access Podcast

Myrna F. Schwartz, PhD

Myrna F. Schwartz, PhD

Mryna Schwartz, PhD, co-founder of the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, recently discussed best practices in aphasia care as part of the Aphasia Access Conversations podcast series.

In a conversation with Janet Patterson, PhD, Dr. Schwartz discussed the role of ethics and institutional review in clinical research activities that involve people with aphasia.

Dr. Schwartz headed MRRI’s Language and Aphasia Laboratory for many years.



Radio Report Features MossRehab’s Aphasia Center

Public radio station WHYY recently took an in-depth look into aphasia that featured interviews with experts from MossRehab’s Aphasia Center and members of its “Conversation Cafes.”

Antonucci

Sharon Antonucci, PhD

“While there are no guarantees about where you will end up in your recovery, opportunities for rehabilitation and opportunities for improving and increasing communication skills are lifelong,” Aphasia Center Director Sharon Antonucci, PhD, told the radio show The Pulse. Antonucci emphasized that recovery from aphasia can continue years after a stroke. Continue Reading