Welcome to the Communication and Cognition Lab!
In the Communication and Cognition Lab, we are studying the relationship between cognitive functions and communication, and how this differs between typical individuals and those who have sustained an injury to the brain. Brain injury often causes impairments in cognitive functions such as memory, executive functions, and social cognition (the cognitive functions needed for successful social interaction). Our aim is to understand how these cognitive impairments translate into communication problems, so we can identify effective strategies for assessment and treatment.
Individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) are our main study population. In the U.S., about 2 million individuals sustain a TBI each year, and cognitive and communication abilities are a critical factor in successful return to work, school, and community life. Thus, understanding and treating the consequences of TBI is a major public health concern. Our studies also involve adolescents and adults with cognitive and communication challenges from other causes, including individuals with neurological disorders such as tumor or stroke, and developmental disorders such as language-based learning disability and autism. These studies help us identify common theoretical and clinical themes across populations, which in turn advance our understanding of assessment and treatment for individuals with brain injury.