Language and Aphasia Laboratory

Director: Myrna F. Schwartz, PhD


It appears that language is represented in the brain in a manner that resembles a jigsaw puzzle. Normally, the pieces fit together seamlessly, so that one is not even aware of individual components. But stroke and other forms of brain damage can compromise the efficiency of one or another component, thereby disrupting the integrated functioning of the system as a whole.

The Language and Aphasia Lab conducts basic research aimed at identifying the functional and neural components of the jigsaw puzzle and understanding how they fit together. Our applied research is aimed at developing theory-driven diagnostic and software tools that can help clinicians tailor treatment to the patient’s profile of impaired and retained functions.

Programs of Research
  • Word- and sentence-production impairments in aphasia: Evidence from behavioral experiments and computational modeling (with Gary Dell, PhD)
  • Neural correlates of functionally- and computationally-defined aphasic symptoms, as identified by univariate and multivariate lesion-symptom mapping (with H. Branch Coslett, MD, Ze Wang, PhD, and Dorian Pustina, PhD
  • Learning models of recovery and rehabilitation in aphasia (with Erica Middleton, PhD, and Julia Schuchard, PhD)
  • Phonological and phonetic error processes in aphasia (with Gary Dell, PhD, Adelyn Brecher, MA, CCC-SLP, and Cristina Romani, PhD, and Dan Mirman, PhD)
  • Frontal control processes and their contribution to impaired language processing (with Denise Harvey, PhD, and Sharon Thompson-Schill)
  • Moss Aphasia Psycholinguistics Project Database (with Dan Mirman, PhD, and Adelyn Brecher, MA, CCC-SLP)
  • Spontaneous self-monitoring of production in aphasia: Function and mechanism (with Erica Middleton, PhD)
  • TMS and other biomarkers of aphasia recovery (with Roy Hamilton, MD)
  • Cognitive and neural processes shared by language and action systems (with Laurel Buxbaum PsyD)
Post-doctoral Fellows:
Research Assistants:
  • Danielle Brown
  • Claire Healy
  • Casey Ferrara
Clinical-Research Associates:
  • Adelyn Brecher, MA, CCC-SLP
Post-doctoral Alumni:
  • Elizabeth Rochon, Professor, Speech-Language Pathology, University of Toronto
  • Laurel Buxbaum, MRRI Institute Scientist
  • Carolyn Wilshire, Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, Victoria University, Wellington NZ
  • Tania Giovannetti, Associate Professor of Psychology, Temple University
  • Albert Kim, Associate Professor, Dept. Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Laura Barde, Research Development Team Manager, University of California San Francisco
  • Tatiana Schnur, Assistant Professor, Dept. Psychology, Rice University
  • Erica Middleton, Institute Scientist, MRRI
  • Malathi Thothathiri, Assistant Professor George Washington University