During the project period we will investigate the structure and deterioration of semantic memory (i.e., stored knowledge of word and object meaning) and develop an assessment of verbal and nonverbal semantic memory that can be used to stage impairment in dementia. The trainee's long-term goal is to develop and sustain this programmatic line of research as an independent investigator. The K-23 mentored award will foster this goal through a career development plan that emphasizes the following objectives: 1)To advance the trainee's knowledge of neurophysiological and neurobehavioral measurement techniques (e.g., electroencephalography, fMRI);2) To improve the trainee's knowledge of clinical research design and data analysis;and 3) To improve the trainee's skill in obtaining competitive research funding. The trainee will conduct the bulk of his research at the University of Florida, a major research university whose onsite resources include the McKnight Brain Institute (equipped with 3 Tesla Philips MR Scanner), Shands Hospital (level I trauma center with satellite memory disorders clinics for patient recruiting) and the Brain Rehabilitation Research Center (BRRC) of the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center. In addition to substantial research infrastructure, UF offers an outstanding intellectual community with renowned researchers in cognitive neuroscience and clinical neuropsychology. Primary mentors for the K-23 include Bruce Crosson, Ph.D. and Leslie Gonzalez-Rothi, Ph.D. Additional contributors include Murray Grossman, M.D., Edith Kaan, Ph.D., Wind Cowles, Ph.D., Nadine Martin, Ph.D., and Lori Altmann, Ph.D.
Specific aims are as follows: 1) We will assess the neural substrates of concept representation using both spatially sensitive (i.e., fMRI) and temporally sensitive (i.e, ERP) measures in support of a biologically-constrained theory of semantic cognition;2) We will develop a psychometrically valid measure of semantic memory with test-retest reliability that can be used to stage the intergrity of multiple components of semantic memory in dementia. Components of this battery will include knowledge: a) word meaning;b) perceptual features;c) abstract attributes;d) environmental context;e) associative relationships;and f) object function.

Public Health Relevance

The rapid growth of dementia in our aging population poses a clear public health crisis;differential diagnosis among the many dementia variants is crucial for effective medical management. Profiles of language and semantic memory can potentially provide diagnostic markers for distinguishing Alzheimer's disease from other dementias. However, lack of specificity inherent within existing scales limits their clinical utility.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZDC1-SRB-L (49))
Program Officer
Sklare, Dan
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Florida
Other Health Professions
Schools of Public Health
United States
Zip Code
Reilly, Jamie; Harnish, Stacy; Garcia, Amanda et al. (2014) Lesion symptom mapping of manipulable object naming in nonfluent aphasia: can a brain be both embodied and disembodied? Cogn Neuropsychol 31:287-312
Benjamin, Michelle L; Towler, Stephen; Garcia, Amanda et al. (2014) A Behavioral Manipulation Engages Right Frontal Cortex During Aphasia Therapy. Neurorehabil Neural Repair 28:545-53
Troche, Joshua; Crutch, Sebastian; Reilly, Jamie (2014) Clustering, hierarchical organization, and the topography of abstract and concrete nouns. Front Psychol 5:360
Crutch, Sebastian J; Troche, Joshua; Reilly, Jamie et al. (2013) Abstract conceptual feature ratings: the role of emotion, magnitude, and other cognitive domains in the organization of abstract conceptual knowledge. Front Hum Neurosci 7:186
Reilly, Jamie; Troche, Joshua; Chatel, Alison et al. (2012) Lexicality Effects in Word and Nonword Recall of Semantic Dementia and Progressive Nonfluent Aphasia. Aphasiology 26:404-427
Troche, Joshua; Troche, Michelle S; Berkowitz, Rebecca et al. (2012) Tone discrimination as a window into acoustic perceptual deficits in Parkinson's disease. Am J Speech Lang Pathol 21:258-63
Reilly, Jamie; Westbury, Chris; Kean, Jacob et al. (2012) Arbitrary symbolism in natural language revisited: when word forms carry meaning. PLoS One 7:e42286
Rodriguez, Amy D; McCabe, Matthew L; Nocera, Joe R et al. (2012) Concurrent word generation and motor performance: further evidence for language-motor interaction. PLoS One 7:e37094
Reilly, Jamie; Fisher, Jamie L (2012) Sherlock Holmes and the strange case of the missing attribution: a historical note on ""The Grandfather Passage"". J Speech Lang Hear Res 55:84-8
Rogalski, Yvonne; Peelle, Jonathan E; Reilly, Jamie (2011) Effects of perceptual and contextual enrichment on visual confrontation naming in adult aging. J Speech Lang Hear Res 54:1349-60

Showing the most recent 10 out of 15 publications