This long-running grant deals with the persistent language impairment that results from left hemisphere stroke (chronic aphasia). Over the years, it produced new aphasia assessment tools, experimental methods, and computational and statistical techniques, and made these available to the research community. Unique to our approach is the emphasis on linking data to implemented computational models of individual patients and patient variability that are derived from psycholinguistic and cognitive principles. These data and models now form the backbone of lesion-mapping and learning studies that are the focus of the next cycle. Building on our success in applying group-level, voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM) methodology, the next cycle will introduce new enhancements in the form of multivariate lesion-behavior mapping at the level of voxels, regions, and tracks. Coupling these powerful techniques to our model-driven behavioral analysis ensures that the "symptoms" that are mapped are realistic with respect to psycholinguistic models, and meaningful with respect to patient performance.
Specific aims are to identify lesion correlates of impairments at conceptual, lexical-semantic, and lexical-phonological stages of word production. There is consensus on the need to bridge the gap between theory and practice in language rehabilitation. Towards this end, a series of studies are proposed that aim to articulate principles of learning in connection with the learning-based recovery of lexical- semantic and lexical-phonological access to words in aphasia. As in our past work, the innovation is the linking of individual patients and patient variability to theory and models. Specifically, we strive to formulate principles of learning that specify how impairment in the lexical access system affects the system's ability to monitor its own state, strengthen weights through repetition, learn from errors, and so on. Such principles constitute building blocks for effective, individually tailored treatment strategies. They are building blocks, too, for learning-based approaches to recovery of other, more complex language functions.

Public Health Relevance

Our research is relevant to the diagnosis of acquired disorders of language, the mapping of language functions in the human brain, and the development of theoretically motivated rehabilitation strategies. An ongoing commitment is to provide ready access by others to the methods and data developed under this project.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Research Project (R01)
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Language and Communication Study Section (LCOM)
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Cooper, Judith
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Albert Einstein Medical Center (Philadelphia)
United States
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Middleton, Erica L; Chen, Qi; Verkuilen, Jay (2015) Friends and foes in the lexicon: homophone naming in aphasia. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 41:77-94
Dell, Gary S; Chang, Franklin (2014) The P-chain: relating sentence production and its disorders to comprehension and acquisition. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 369:20120394
Zhang, Yongsheng; Kimberg, Daniel Y; Coslett, H Branch et al. (2014) Multivariate lesion-symptom mapping using support vector regression. Hum Brain Mapp 35:5861-76
Dell, Gary S (2014) Phonemes and Production. Lang Cogn Process 29:30-32
Jacobs, Cassandra L; Dell, Gary S (2014) "hotdog", not "hot" "dog": The phonological planning of compound words. Lang Cogn Neurosci 29:512-523
Schwartz, Myrna F (2014) Theoretical analysis of word production deficits in adult aphasia. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 369:20120390
Mirman, Daniel; Graziano, Kristen M (2013) The neural basis of inhibitory effects of semantic and phonological neighbors in spoken word production. J Cogn Neurosci 25:1504-16
Middleton, Erica L; Schwartz, Myrna F (2013) Learning to fail in aphasia: an investigation of error learning in naming. J Speech Lang Hear Res 56:1287-97
Middleton, Erica L; Schwartz, Myrna F (2012) Errorless learning in cognitive rehabilitation: a critical review. Neuropsychol Rehabil 22:138-68
Thothathiri, Malathi; Kimberg, Daniel Y; Schwartz, Myrna F (2012) The neural basis of reversible sentence comprehension: evidence from voxel-based lesion symptom mapping in aphasia. J Cogn Neurosci 24:212-22

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