In the portion of CNG sometimes referred to as the “SVRLab,” we are interested in understanding how learning can be maximized when adults with aphasia (who have lost some aspect of language due to a stroke) participate in speech-language therapy. We utilize methodologies such as computer-based assessment, eye tracking, electroencephalography (EEG) and neuroimaging to measure learning processes in people with and without aphasia. 

To help translate our findings into clinical practice, we carry out treatment studies that apply what we are learning in our controlled experiments into tasks and contexts that more closely resemble therapy. We also collaborate with clinical partners at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, leveraging implementation science to evaluate and drive practice change.

woman rests chin on device and looks at computer monitor while another woman measures the distance to the screen

Evaluating behaviors of learning in people with aphasia

We are currently running several studies measuring aspects of learning in people with and without aphasia. One such study seeks to determine the implicit and rule-based learning ability of people with aphasia.

Clinical Trial Information

Participate in our Research

We are looking for individuals with aphasia due to stroke to participate in our studies. The purpose of this research study is to better understand aphasia and learning to hopefully lead to improvements in treatments for aphasia. 

If you (or anyone you know) are interested in learning more, please svallilarohter [at] (email us) or contact us at (617) 724-3824.

  • Learning tasks on the computer. You will press buttons and answer questions. We will track where your eyes are looking.
  • Doing tests of language (speaking/listening) and cognition (thinking/remembering).
  • We will ask you to complete an MRI brain scan to get pictures of your brain.

Testing and brain scans take place at the Charlestown Navy Yard, 79 13th Street, Boston.

We expect participants to receive around $120. The study takes 3 to 5 sessions, each about two hours long.

Payment is $10/hour for each computer session and $50 for the brain scan session.

  • Over 18 years old
  • Have aphasia due to stroke
  • Spoke fluent, native-like English before your stroke
  • Do not have metal fragments or implants in your body as these make you unable to go into an MR scanner (for example no cardiac pacemaker or surgical aneurysm clips)

Lab Team

Meet Our Team
Carla Tierney-Hendricks, MS, CCC-SLP

Adjunct Assistant Professor PhD Student Lecturer, Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism Online Prerequisites for the Health Professions

Sofia Vallila Rohter in purple turtleneck

Co-Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Group Associate Professor Communication Sciences and Disorders

The Latest Research

four women stand behind a desk
Building Out Research
Thu, 06/06/2024
close up photo of norma the sun is shining through her red hair
Norma Hancock, PhD, CAS, WDP
Fri, 06/30/2023
profile photo of marc
Marc Maffei, PhD CCC-SLP
Thu, 06/01/2023