BA, PGDip, MSc, PhD
Division of Human Communication Sciences, Health Sciences School
Emeritus Professor of Aphasiology
+44 114 222 2403
Full contact details
Division of Human Communication Sciences, Health Sciences School
362 Mushroom Lane
My research finds ways to make life better for people with aphasia. This centres on investigations into the nature of word retrieval in aphasia, leading to more refined diagnosis and selection of treatment, and investigations of accessibility of information.
With the support of generous funding from the Tavistock Trust for Aphasia and from the NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, I set up an Aphasia Communication and Research Centre Aphasia Centre. People with aphasia attend for goal-directed intervention, delivered by students under supervision. The Centre is run by highly specialist speech and language therapist Janet Walmsley (email@example.com).
As a result of building this research community I established an Aphasia Research Group. The Group includes staff and PhD students, and local clinicians.
I am currently working on a number of projects with a group of researchers at the University of Sheffield and beyond, including Patricia Cowell, Lucy Dyson, Emma Gregory, Caroline Haw, David Howard, Jane Morgan, Tariq Khwaileh, and Catherine Tattersall.
I am a qualified speech and language therapist, and have worked in Higher Education since 1996, with research and teaching roles at Birkbeck College and University College London, and since 2003 at Sheffield. I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, and an honorary member of the British Aphasiology Society.
- Research interests
The main aims are to:
- improve diagnosis and assessment
- improve our knowledge of aphasia in other languages including Arabic
- produce evidence for effective rehabilitation methods
- develop novel forms of intervention
- devise new outcome measures
A relatively new strand of research, supported by grants from the Stroke Association and from South Yorkshire CLAHRC, investigates access to health information for people with aphasia. To date we have:
- developed accessible information guidelines for staff working with people with aphasia http://www.stroke.org.uk/sites/default/files/Accessible%20Information%20Guidelines.pdf.pdf
- produced a template for making information accessible
- delivered specific images and text to the Stroke Association, which form the basis of several clinical resources about stroke to help people and their families
Noun syntax activation in spoken word retrieval in aphasia
In a series of studies Elizabeth Anderson, Wendy Best, Lucy Dyson, Emma Gregory, Tariq Khwaileh, and Dee Webster have worked with me to identify patterns of impaired and intact processing in aphasia, and to develop new assessment and intervention methods, and a related software package.
The projects have been funded by the Health Foundation, the Stroke Association, the Yorkshire Concept Proof of Commercial Concept Fund, and Sheffield University Enterprises Limited.
Tariq Khwaileh investigated this in Arabic in aphasia for his PhD, and Shams Alzumaini is conducting her PhD carrying out a related study.
Future work includes investigations into frequency effects in two word utterances in aphasia through Elizabeth Anderson’s PhD, and priming of syntactic structures in aphasia through Andrew Buddery’s PhD.
Semantic processing in aphasia
Following on from earlier research into category specific impairment in aphasia Lucy Dyson, Richard Body and I are investigating semantic processing and the relationship with cognitive functions including executive function and attention, through a series of experiments with healthy speakers and speakers with aphasia. Lucy Dyson is completing her PhD in this field, funded by a Research Training Fellowship from the Stroke Association.
Gulfian Arabic Test Battery
Tariq Khwaileh, Eiman Mustafawi (Qatar University), David Howard (University of Newcastle upon Tyne) and I are developing a Test Battery for use with speakers of Gulfian Arabic with aphasia. This is supported by grant NPRP-7-1506-3-390 awarded by the Qatar National Research Fund.
Access to information for people with aphasia
This work was initially commissioned by the Stroke Association, who funded two consecutive projects. Recently South Yorkshire CLAHRC have funded further research in this area. The project has delivered information materials designed by people with aphasia, and guidelines for staff working with people with aphasia. Caroline Haw is completing her PhD on this topic.
David Howard, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Tariq Khwaileh, University of Qatar
Jane Morgan, Sheffield Hallam University
- POWERS: Profile of word errors and retrieval in speech. Guildford: J&R Press.
- Accessible Information Guidelines. London: Stroke Association.
- Semantic processing in aphasia: evidence from semantic priming and semantic interference. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 1-26.
- Syntactic cueing of spoken naming in jargon aphasia. Aphasiology. View this article in WRRO
- Imageability, familiarity, and age of acquisition ratings for Arabic abstract nouns, abstract verbs and adjectives. The Mental Lexicon, 13(3), 354-387. View this article in WRRO
- Gulf Arabic nouns and verbs: A standardized set of 319 object pictures and 141 action pictures, with predictors of naming latencies. Behavior Research Methods, 50(6), 2408-2425. View this article in WRRO
- Collaborative design of accessible information with people with aphasia. Aphasiology. View this article in WRRO
- Lexical retrieval after Arabic aphasia: Syntactic access and predictors of spoken naming. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 42, 140-155. View this article in WRRO
- Morpho-syntactic processing of Arabic plurals after aphasia: dissecting lexical meaning from morpho-syntax within word boundaries. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 32(6), 340-367. View this article in WRRO
- Activation of syntax in lexical production in healthy speakers and in aphasia.. Cortex, 57, 212-226. View this article in WRRO
- Syntactic versus lexical therapy for anomia in acquired aphasia: Differential effects on narrative and conversation. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 49(2), 162-173. View this article in WRRO
- Aphasia rehabilitation: does generalisation from anomia therapy occur and is it predictable? A case series study.. Cortex, 49(9), 2345-2357.
- Determiner Cuing in Arabic Anomia: The Role of Syntax in Lexical Retrieval. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 94, 141-141.
- A Normative Database and Determinants of Lexical Retrieval for 186 Arabic Nouns: Effects of Psycholinguistic and Morpho-Syntactic Variables on Naming Latency. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 1-21.
- Determiner primes as facilitators of lexical retrieval in English.. J Psycholinguist Res, 41(6), 439-453. View this article in WRRO
- Effects of syntactic cueing therapy on picture naming and connected speech in acquired aphasia.. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 22(4), 609-633. View this article in WRRO
- Anticipatory other-completion of augmentative and alternative communication talk: a conversation analysis study. Disability and Rehabilitation, 33(3), 261-269.
- Making information about stroke more accessible. International Journal of Stroke, 2(6), 4-4.
- A controlled study of changes in conversation following aphasia therapy for anomia. DISABIL REHABIL, 33(3), 229-242.
- The role of noun syntax in spoken word production: evidence from aphasia.. Cortex, 46(3), 329-342.
- Do picture-naming tests provide a valid assessment of lexical retrieval in conversation in aphasia?. APHASIOLOGY, 22(2), 184-203.
- An investigation of a relative impairment in naming non-living items: theoretical and methodological implications. J NEUROLINGUIST, 19(2), 96-123.
- A deficit in noun syntax representations in aphasia. BRAIN LANG, 95(1), 94-95.
- Combining lexical and interactional approaches to therapy for word finding deficits in aphasia. APHASIOLOGY, 17(12), 1163-1186.
- Phonological and orthographic facilitation of word-retrieval in aphasia: Immediate and delayed effects. Aphasiology, 16(1-2), 151-168.
- Phonological therapy for word-finding difficulties: A re-evaluation. Aphasiology, 16(10-11), 981-999.
- Phonological and orthographic approaches to the treatment of word retrieval in aphasia. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 36(SUPPL.), 7-12.
- The development of a self-directed and peer-based clinical training programme. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 36(SUPPL.), 401-405.
- Treatment of word retrieval in aphasia: Generalisation to conversational speech. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 36(SUPPL.), 13-18.
- Cognitive Neuropsychology and Conversation Analysis in Aphasia. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE & COMMUNICATION DISORDERS, 35(4), 573-574.
- Phonological facilitation of aphasic naming and predicting the outcome of treatment for anomia. BRAIN AND LANGUAGE, 74(3), 435-438.
- Treating word finding difficulties- beyond picture naming. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders(33), 208-213.
- Efficacy of treatment: Effects on word retrieval and conversation. In Byng S, Duchan J & Pound C (Ed.), Aphasia Therapy File (Vol. II) (pp. 69-82). Hove UK: Psychology Press.
- Phonological therapy for word-finding difficulties: a re-evaluation In Nickels L (Ed.), Macquarie Monographs in Cognitive Science: Rehabilitation of Spoken Word Production in Aphasia (pp. 981-1000). Hove: Psychology Press.
- The Aphasia Therapy File Psychology Press
Conference proceedings papers
- Integration of Syntax and Lexis in Anomia Therapy. AOA2010, 48TH ACADEMY OF APHASIA PROCEEDINGS, Vol. 6 (pp 258-259)
- Research group
Hanadi has funding for her PhD from Saudi Arabia. She is investigating goal-setting in aphasia therapy, working with people with aphasia, family members, and speech and language therapists in clinics in Saudi Arabia.
Sarah was awarded a three year Faculty Scholarship. She is investigating the use of technology to deliver therapy to people with aphasia. Sarah is a speech and language therapist and she is also working clinically.
Shams has a three year funded scholarship from King Saud University. She will be studying noun phrase production in Arabic speakers with agrammatic aphasia.
Elizabeth has been awarded a Faculty Fee Scholarship as part of her Teaching Assistant post. She will be investigating noun phrase production in aphasia, looking at frequency and complexity.
Based in Sri Lanka, and working both as a lecturer and as a speech and language therapist, Dinushee is investigating language production in Sinhala-English bilingual speakers with aphasia.
Sajlia is a remote location student working as a speech and language therapist in Singapore. She is investigating aspects of conversation in speakers who are bilingual and have sustained a traumatic brain injury.
Dr Caroline Haw completed her PhD in September 2017. This project focused on information access for people with aphasia, identifying best practice for the provision of information.
Dr Lucy Dyson completed her PhD in September 2017. Her project identified retained semantic function in people diagnosed as having a semantic deficit through traditional tests. She is working with me to develop new ways of identifying this retained function to ensure accurate diagnosis.
My research into word-finding difficulties in aphasia has been supported by grants from the Tavistock Trust for Aphasia, the Stroke Association, the Health Foundation, Yorkshire Concept Fund and Sheffield University Enterprises Limited.