Language and Learning Lab

Director: Erica Middleton, PhD


One of the most amazing and complex human abilities is the act of transforming mental representations of the world and personal experiences into information-rich sequences of sound (i.e., language production) that are then understood by a listener. In the Language and Learning lab, our work is dedicated to understanding the processes involved in language production as well as how such processes are disrupted in acquired language disorder (aphasia). A major focus is to develop efficacious treatments of aphasia grounded in a theoretical understanding of fundamental mechanisms of language use, learning, and language change.

Programs of Research
  • Representation of homophones (e.g., dear/deer) in the mental lexicon (with Marja-Liisa Mailend, PhD)
  • Monitoring of speech (with Myrna Schwartz, PhD and Edward Wlotko, PhD)
  • Retrieval practice (i.e., testing) effects in rehabilitation of naming impairments in aphasia (with Katherine Rawson, PhD and Myrna Schwartz, PhD)
  • Distributed practice effects and treatment of naming impairments in aphasia (with Katherine Rawson, PhD and Julia Schuchard, PhD)
  • Retrieval practice and distributed practice effects in treatment of word comprehension deficits in aphasia
  • Semantic context effects in aphasia
  • Conceptual combination in aphasia (with Sharon Thompson-Schill, PhD)

Post-doctoral Fellows
Marja-Liisa Mailend, PhD
Abhijeet Patra, PhD

Research Coordinator
Adelyn Brecher, CCC-SLP

Research Assistants
Krysta Duquette
Taylor Echevarria
Bethany Blass

Post-Doctoral Alumni

Julia Schuchard, Research Scientist, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Denise Harvey, Post-doctoral Researcher, University of Pennsylvania