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You are here: Home / Research / Semantics, Aphasia, and Neural Dynamics Lab

Semantics, Aphasia, and Neural Dynamics Lab

Primary Investigator: Dr. Chaleece Sandberg

Research Assistants: 
Alexis Basciano
Jason Staph

Graduate Students:
Dominick DiMercurio (CSD/Language Science Doctoral Program)
Lynn Ables (CSD Master's Program)
Sierra Kates (CSD Master's Program)
Caroline Walschmidt (CSD Master's Program)
Nafea Shaikh (CSD Master's Program)
Chandler Burkhart (CSD Master's Program)
Undergraduate Students:
Carina Lindrooth
Lauren Kelly
Allison Holt
Allison Kasper
Matthew Gombar
McKenna Graham
Deanne Lewis
Lucia Mitnik
Hannah Narvaez
Alexandra Santos
Jacquelyn Stochel


The overarching goal of our lab’s research is to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of brain plasticity in post-stroke chronic aphasia related to improved behavioral outcomes of therapy to develop more effective treatment strategies for persons with aphasia. Drawing on the disciplines of linguistics, language disorders, and neuroimaging, with special interest in the treatment of semantic access deficits, our lab conducts research with both normal adults and those with language disorders in the areas of semantics and bilingualism. Past research has included examining plausibility in sentence comprehension in normal and aphasic language processing, bilingual aphasia treatment, including computational modeling of treatment outcomes, and treatment for agrammatism. Current work in the lab includes examining the structure of the semantic system, specifically differences in abstract and concrete conceptual organization, exploring the neural underpinnings of the TOT state in aging and aphasia, leveraging the characteristics of abstract and concrete words to improve word retrieval in mono- and bi-lingual aphasia (and vocabulary learning in L2), and examining the neural changes associated with successful aphasia therapy. Our lab utilizes neuroimaging, behavioral analyses, and mathematical models to achieve our research goals.