Adult Cognition and Language Laboratory

Department of Speech and Hearing Science
Indiana University
Lab Director - Dr. Laura Murray


Ongoing Research:

Laura Murray: Current projects compare dual-task performances of adults with aphasia and adults with right hemisphere brain damage to examine whether side of lesion or brain damage in general is most detrimental to attentional skills and to associations between attention and language processes, and to determine if certain language abilities are more vulnerable to the effects of concomitant attention deficits. Several single-subject treatment projects are also being completed that examine novel approaches to remediating spoken and written sentence production and word finding deficits in adults representing a range of aphasia types and severities. Other interests include relating patterns of discourse production (i.e., syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic levels) in Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases to the degree of motor (in the cases of Huntington's nad Parkinson's), cognitive, and behavioral impairment to identify possible underlying sources of communication impairment, and consequently to develop interventions to improve or maintain effective interaction between brain-damaged patients and their daily communicative partners. Another project explored resolving the clinical diagnostic dilemma of distinguishing reversible pseudodementia from the irreversible dementing illness, Alzheimer's disease by quantitatively and qualitatively comparing the language and attention skills of elderly adults with these disorders.

Jamie Mayer: An examination of the interaction between languaage and working memory in generating or exacerbating observed cognitive and language deficits in adults with aphasia.

Hye-Young Kim: An examination effects of Soojichim (Korean non-invasive hand acupuncture), an alternative treatment for aphasic patients, when combined with traditional language therapy. This study is open to anyone who suffers from aphasia, particularly English or Korean monolingual speakers. For information, call 812-855-6666 or 812-219-7518.

Toshikazu Ikuta: The roles of the dorpaminergic system in language processing. Current projects focus on the speech of Huntington's and Parkinson's disease populations.

Erin Reardon: This research project is based upon the need for equivalent forms of discourse sampling procedures. The ability to elicit discourse is an important component of a complete speech-language assessment when evaluating adult populations. Due to the nature of and restricted set of stimuli currently used to elicit discourse clinicians and researchers are faced with a dilemma when trying to evaluate the efficacy of their treatments: If the exact, same stimulus is presented before and after treatment, the confounding variable of practice effects exists. Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to provide clinicians and researchers with multiple forms of stimuli which are matched to elicit similar discourse samples in terms of discourse content and form. Additionally, because significant differences between the discourse output of younger and older adult populations have been identified, this study will go a step further and provide matched forms for each age group. This study will identify matched forms for the following methods of eliciting discourse samples: single picture narrative, picture sequence narrative, story retell, and explanation of a procedure. Six examples of each method will be presented to 20 adults without brain damage (i.e., 15 young adults and 15 older adults) and their responses will be transcribed and then analyzed in terms of content (e.g., proportion of correct information units) and form (e.g., proportion of grammatically complete utterances). It is hoped that at least two equivalent forms will be identified for each discourse sampling method for each age group, and that these forms in turn can begin to be used in future clinical and research practices.