Sofia Vallila Rohter is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. She is also Co-Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Group.

At the IHP, Dr. Vallila-Rohter teaches courses within the Master’s Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders, such as Neuroanatomy & Neurophysiology of Communication & Swallowing, Physiology, Acoustics & Perception of Speech, and Research Design & Evidence-Based Practice for CSD. She is also involved in teaching and mentoring within the PhD in Rehabilitation Science Program at the institute. Dr. Vallila Rohter loves exploring complex concepts with students and unpacking them in a clinically-meaningful way.

In her research, Dr. Vallila Rohter aims to better understand the underlying mechanisms contributing to relearning in people with aphasia, a language deficit that often arises as a result of stroke or traumatic brain injury. Using behavioral and neurophysiological methods, she explores how nonlinguistic cognitive systems might contribute to success with therapy. One broad goal of Dr. Vallila Rohter’s research is to improve clinicians’ abilities to tailor treatment to individuals, improving the predictability and efficacy of treatment for aphasia.

Dr. Vallila Rohter also has collaborations with clinicians and clinician-scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Utilizing frameworks of implementation science, she, her team and collaborators are working towards developing and studying initiatives to improve care delivery for stroke patients. Clinically, Dr. Vallila Rohter practices as a speech-language pathologist in acute care as part of the Rehabilitation team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

  • BA, Romance Languages, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
  • MS, Linguistics, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
  • PhD, Speech and Hearing Biosciences and Technology, MIT, Cambridge, MA

Research Interests

  • Aphasia Rehabilitation
  • Category Learning
  • Feedback-based learning
  • Feedback processing
  • Executive Functions
  • Strategy Development
  • Individual Differences
  • Neural organization of language
  • Neural substrates of learning


Nunn, K.*, Vallila-Rohter, S., Arbel, Y. (October, 2022). Feedback-based nonword learning in aphasia: Exploring the role of language and cognition. Poster presented at the Annual Academy of Aphasia Conference.

Tilton-Bolowsky, V*., Hoffman, L.*, Vallila-Rohter, S. (October, 2022). Incorporating metacognitive strategy training into semantic treatment promotes generalization and improves functional communication in aphasia. Talk presented at the Academy of Aphasia Conference.

Van-Stan, J., Meulenbroek, P., Rogus-Pulia, N., Vallila-Rohter, S., & Zanca, J. (October, 2022). Applying the rehabilitation treatment specification system across speech language pathology. Symposium presentation submitted for the Annual American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) Conference.

Cabrera-Thompson, D.*, Russell, M.*, Pittman, R., Vallila-Rohter, S. (November, 2022). Exploring the relationship between risk-taking, anxiety, depression and functional language use in people with aphasia. Poster submitted to the Annual American Speech and Hearing Associate Conference.

Tierney-Hendricks, C.*, Schliep, M., Vallila-Rohter, S. (May, 2022) Using implementation frameworks to examine current practices and barriers in aphasia service delivery. Poster presented at the Clinical Aphasiology Conference, Wrightsville Beach, NC.

*indicates a mentored student

Nunn, K.*, Vallila-Rohter, S., Middleton, E. (in press). Errorless learning, errorful learning, and retrieval practice for naming treatment in aphasia: A scoping review of learning mechanisms and treatment ingredients. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.

Tierney-Hendricks, C.*, Schliep, M., Vallila-Rohter, S. (2021). Using an implementation framework to survey outcome measurement and treatment practices in aphasia. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology.

Tilton-Bolowsky, V.*, Vallila-Rohter, S. & Arbel, Y. (2021). Strategy development and feedback processing during complex category learning. Frontiers in Psychology. 12, 672330-672330.

Schliep, M.*, Kasparian, L., Kaminski, O., Hendricks, C.*, Ayuk, E., Brady Wagner, L., Koymen, S., & Vallila-Rohter, S. (2020). Implementing a standardized language evaluation in the acute phases of aphasia: Linking evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence. Frontiers in Neurology. 11,412.

Vallila-Rohter, S., & Kiran, S. (2013). Non-linguistic learning in aphasia: evidence from a paired associate and feedback based task. Neuropsychologia, 51(1), 79-90.

*indicates a mentored student

Awards and Honors

Nancy T. Watts Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2020

This award honors a distinguished Institute faculty member who has excelled in meeting the excellence in teaching criteria and is recognized by students, faculty colleagues, and other members of the community. It is given to a faculty member who best exemplifies creativity in teaching, is receptive to evaluation, is responsive to the individual learning needs of students, is a mentor to students and faculty alike, and is recognized and respected by professional colleagues.

MGH IHP: CSD Faculty Award for Excellence, 2020, 2017, 2014

This award honors a distinguished Communication Sciences and Disorders faculty member who presents material in a highly effective manner, fosters an atmosphere of individual inquiry, uses class time efficiently, welcomes discussion and expression of diverse points of view, and excels in teaching his or her course. 

New Investigator Award, 2019

The purpose of this award is to honor an MGH Institute of Health Professions (IHP) faculty member who has achieved distinction in the early stages of a research career by developing a program of research that is recognized for 1) creating new knowledge that significantly impacts the scientific basis of his or her field of practice, and 2) advancing the research mission of the IHP.