Focus

The Aphasia Laboratory is located in the Discovery 1 Research Facility at the University of South Carolina and is directed by Julius Fridriksson, Ph.D. The research foci of the lab include:

  1. Understanding the neurophysiology of aphasia recovery in stroke
  2. Understanding speech motor perception in normal and disordered populations (e.g. autism, stroke, etc.)
  3. Understanding the neural basis of motor speech processing

Much of this research relies on technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including DTI, fMRI, VBM, LSM, and brain stimulation techniques (transcranial magnetic stimulation, TMS; transcranial direct current stimulation, tDCS).

Research Collaborators

University of South Carolina

Roozbeh Behroozmand, Ph.D.
Dirk B. den Ouden, Ph.D.
Dan Fogerty, Ph.D.
Stacy Fritz, Ph.D.
Troy Herter, Ph.D.
Souvik Sen, M.D., MPH (USC School of Medicine)
Priyantha Herath, M.D., Ph.D. (USC School of Medicine)
Jill Stewart, Ph.D.

Medical University of South Carolina

Leonardo Bonilha, M.D., Ph.D.
Joseph Helpern, Ph.D.

Johns Hopkins University

Argye Hillis, M.D., M.S.

University of California Irvine

Greg Hickok, Ph.D.

City University of New York

Marom Bikson, Ph.D.
Abhishek Datta, Ph.D.
Lucas Parra, Ph.D.

University of Nottingham

Paul S. Morgan, Ph.D.

University of Iceland

Sigridur Magnusdottir, Ph.D.
Haukur Hjaltason, M.D.

University of Arizona

Audrey Holland, Ph.D.

 

Research Funding

Our research is funded by the following grants to Julius Fridriksson:

Current Funding:

Principal investigator, ” National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders.” Center for the Study of Aphasia Recovery (C-STAR; P50 DC014664. Funding period: 4/2016-3/2021; funding: $2,291,632). This funding has established a collaborative team of researchers from USC, MUSC, Johns Hopkins University and the University of California at Irvine to develop a model that predicts patients’ response to aphasia treatment. The purpose of this project is to understand why some patients respond better to aphasia treatment than others. The current project will yield a vast dataset that will be made publicly available allowing others to study further aphasia treatment response in relation to cognitive/linguistic and lesion factors.

Principal investigator, “National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders.” Speech entrainment treatment for Broca’s aphasia (R21 DC014170. Funding period: 4/2016-3/2017; funding: $183,125). This trial is the first to examine a new approach – speech entrainment – to treat Broca’s aphasia and explore patient characteristics associated with treatment response.

Principal investigator, “National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders.” Trans-cranial Direct Current Stimulation to Treat Aphasia: Phase II Trial (R01 DC011739. Funding period: 4/2012-3/2017; funding: $4,680,000). This is a phase II trial aimed at providing preliminary data to support and definitive phase III trial. The overall goal is to examine the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation on aphasia recovery in chronic stroke.

 

Completed Funding: 

Co-investigator, “National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke.” Targeted Transcranial Electrotherapy System to Accelerate Stroke Recovery, (R41 NS076123-01. Funding period: 7/1/2011-6/30/2013. Total budget: $511,797). The purpose of this project is to develop a computerized guidance system to best determine electrode placement on the scalp (using high-resolution MRI) for transcranial direct current stimulation treatment of stroke. PI: Lucas Parra.

Consultant, “National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.” Semantic Feature Processing in Individuals with Stroke Aphasia  (R03 DC010262. Funding period: 4/2010-3/2013. Total funding: $450,000.00). The overall objective of this project is to determine the relationships among semantic feature knowledge, word retrieval deficits, and lesion location in individuals with aphasia.

Co-investigator, “National Science Foundation.” The neural basis of processing discourse reference. (BCS0822617. Funding period: 2009-2013. Total funding: $431,000.00). This basic science project focuses on understanding the dynamics of brain activation during sentence processing and relies of fMRI and EEG. PI: Amit Almor

Principal investigator, “National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders.” A Unified Neuroanatomical Model of Speech Perception and Production: Implications (R01 DC009571. Funding period 4/1/2009-3/31/2014. Total budget: $1,633,947.00). This project examines the neural mechanism supporting speech perception and production. Special emphasis is placed on translating basic research findings into treatment of apraxia of speech and conduction aphasia.

Principal investigator, “National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders.” Administrative supplement: Neurological Predictors of Anomia Recovery in Aphasia, (DC008355-03S1. Funding period 7/17/2009- 06/30/2011. Total budget: $152,200.00). The purpose of this project is to develop a novel method to carry out lesion-symptom mapping using tractography data in stroke patients.

Principal investigator, “National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders.” Administrative supplement: A Unified Neuroanatomical Model of Speech Perception and Production: Implications (DC009571-01A1S1. Funding period 7/17/2009- 06/30/2011. Total budget: $158,400.00). The purpose of this research is to develop a computerized treatment for speech production in aphasia.

Co-investigator, “National Institute on Aging.” Processing Discourse Reference in Mind and Brain, (R21 AG030445. Funding period: 5/1/2008-4/30/2010. Total budget: $432,000.00). This research aims to uncover the functional and neural processes that underlie reference comprehension, especially with respect to the relation between reference form and referent salience. PI: Amit Almor.

Principal investigator, “National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders.” Neurological Predictors of Anomia Recovery in Aphasia (R01 DC008355. Funding period 4/1/2007-3/31/2013. Total budget: $1,598,940.00). This project investigates the relationship between cortical integrity and outcome of anomia treatment in stroke patients with aphasia.

Co-PI, “Anonymous donor.” Brain atrophy and normal aging. (Funding period: 2006-2009; total funding: $100,000.00). The purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between white and gray matter atrophy in the normally aging brain and cognition. Co-PI: Leonardo Bonilha

Co-investigator, “National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke.” Dissociating Components of the Attentional Network in Neglect (R01 NS054266 funding period: 8/1/2006-7/31/2011. Total budget: $1,467,000.00). The purpose of this grant is to investigate brain damage associated with neglect in stroke patients.  PI: Chris Rorden

Principal investigator, “National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders.”  Neurological Predictors of Aphasia Recovery (R03 DC005915 funding period: 8/1/03-7/31/07; total funding: $225,000.00). The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship among cerebral perfusion, lesion size, aphasia, and left hemi-spatial neglect in early stroke.