This application requests 5 years of additional support for a Research Symposium in Clinical Aphasiology, to be held within the annual Clinical Aphasiology Conference (CAC). Aphasiology is the study of aphasia, a potentially-devastating difficulty with understanding and producing language that results from brain damage. The CAC is the only scientific meeting dedicated to research with clear implications for clinical assessment and treatment of aphasia and related disorders. About 110 participants attend CAC each year, each earning an invitation by submitting an abstract of a completed research project. Participants include speech-language pathologists, linguists, psycholinguists, (cognitive) neuropsychologists, and neurologists who represent the world's foremost investigators of clinically-relevant issues. The goals of the Research Symposium in Clinical Aphasiology are to contribute: (1) to the vitality of ongoing research in clinical aphasiology, via a coordinated set f keynote and topically-related platform presentations; and (2) to the development of new investigators, particularly students from traditionally underrepresented minority/ethnic groups. The bulk of the proposed budget is to support travel expenses for 15 student fellows. These student fellows will receive practice in presenting and discussing their own research, and will participate in several specially-designed mentoring opportunities. Evaluations of past Research Symposia have been highly positive and student participation at CAC has increased substantially due to the grant. The 2016 CAC (and Research Symposium in Clinical Aphasiology) is scheduled for May 24-28 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Invited speakers will present their most current work on Dynamics of lexical-level language processing, addressing the fundamental unit of language comprehension which is often if not always impaired in aphasia. The 2017 meeting will be held on approximately the same dates in Park City, Utah, with a potential topic of Rehabilitation-induced plasticity. Potential topics for subsequent year include Diffusion tensor imaging, language, and aphasia, Brain bases of nonlexical semantics, The role of the cerebellum in language and cognition, and Working memory, attention, and executive control.
Aphasia, a consequence of stroke, is a devasating communication problem that affects the ability to express oneself by talking or writing, to understand speech, and to read. The proposed conference grant will support a set of cutting-edge presentations to help professionals improve the study and treatment of aphasia. The grant will also support student training in aphasia research and treatment.