Aphasia is a stroke-related disability of language processing that affects about one million people in the United States. Human activity is so dependent on spoken communication that impairments of spoken language processing, such as aphasia, can be devastating. In addition to functional impairments such as inability to work, language impairments can also cause social isolation and its consequent negative outcomes on mental and physical health. Because language processing calls on many different cognitive faculties, aphasia may have many different underlying causes and each aphasic individual may have a subtly different impairment. Designing effective rehabilitation strategies depends on our understanding of the nature of the impairment, thus, the focus of this proposal is on using behavioral experiments and computational modeling methods to develop a formal theory of aphasic spoken word comprehension. The proposed experiments will investigate phonological, semantic, and cognitive control aspects of word processing in a large and diverse set of aphasic individuals and unimpaired control participants using behavioral and eye tracking measures. These measures will provide new insights into the dynamics of word processing in aphasia. Computational modeling will be used to develop and test formal accounts of word processing deficits in aphasia. With a better understanding of the underlying causes of aphasic language impairments and a formal model of aphasia, more effective rehabilitation strategies can be developed.

Public Health Relevance

This project will apply innovative behavioral, eye-tracking, and computational modeling techniques to better understand word processing in aphasic patients. The investigations are likely to contribute substantially to the understanding of language impairments in aphasia and to the development of novel rehabilitation strategies for aphasia.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Language and Communication Study Section (LCOM)
Program Officer
Cooper, Judith
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Drexel University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
Zip Code
Mirman, Daniel; Landrigan, Jon-Frederick; Kokolis, Spiro et al. (2018) Corrections for multiple comparisons in voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping. Neuropsychologia 115:112-123
Landrigan, Jon-Frederick; Mirman, Daniel (2018) The cost of switching between taxonomic and thematic semantics. Mem Cognit 46:191-203
PeƱaloza, Claudia; Mirman, Daniel; Cardona, Pedro et al. (2017) Cross-situational word learning in aphasia. Cortex 93:12-27
Mirman, Daniel; Landrigan, Jon-Frederick; Britt, Allison E (2017) Taxonomic and thematic semantic systems. Psychol Bull 143:499-520
Britt, Allison E; Ferrara, Casey; Mirman, Daniel (2016) Distinct Effects of Lexical and Semantic Competition during Picture Naming in Younger Adults, Older Adults, and People with Aphasia. Front Psychol 7:813
Nozari, Nazbanou; Mirman, Daniel; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L (2016) The ventrolateral prefrontal cortex facilitates processing of sentential context to locate referents. Brain Lang 157-158:1-13
Mirman, Daniel; Chen, Qi; Zhang, Yongsheng et al. (2015) Neural organization of spoken language revealed by lesion-symptom mapping. Nat Commun 6:6762
Chen, Qi; Mirman, Daniel (2015) Interaction between phonological and semantic representations: time matters. Cogn Sci 39:538-58
Skipper-Kallal, Laura M; Mirman, Dan; Olson, Ingrid R (2015) Converging evidence from fMRI and aphasia that the left temporoparietal cortex has an essential role in representing abstract semantic knowledge. Cortex 69:104-20
Mirman, Daniel; Zhang, Yongsheng; Wang, Ze et al. (2015) The ins and outs of meaning: Behavioral and neuroanatomical dissociation of semantically-driven word retrieval and multimodal semantic recognition in aphasia. Neuropsychologia 76:208-19

Showing the most recent 10 out of 21 publications