Motor Speech Disorders Laboratory People Publications Research Home Contacts and Links Patients and Caregivers About Photos
Patients Click Here

About Aphasia

What is aphasia? The National Aphasia Association defines aphasia as “an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence.” Aphasia impairs the expression and understanding of language, as well as reading and writing. One million people in the United States currently have aphasia, and 80,000 individuals will acquire the disorder each year, primarily following stroke.

Our Mission

At the Aphasia Laboratory at the University of Washington, we conduct research to better understand the complex processing of language and its breakdown in individuals with aphasia.

In particular, we study:

  1. The theoretical nature of word retrieval deficits in aphasia.
  2. Rehabilitation of aphasia.
  3. The influence of attention and cognitive processing on word retrieval.
  4. The psycholinguistic principles of stimuli used in treatment and/or standardized assessments.    

Director: Diane Kendall
Dr. Kendall and patientDr. Kendall’s research program is focused on rehabilitation of aphasia and in particular understanding the theoretical relationship between phonology (e.g. sounds) and aphasia. Her overall career objectives are to conduct systematic, Phase I through V treatment outcomes research. Through a Veterans Administration Associate Investigator Award (2000-2002), Career Research Development Award (2002-2005) and Merit Review Grants (2010-2013 and 2013-2017), Dr. Kendall continues to systematically test and refine protocols in phonomotor treatment for word retrieval impairments in aphasia. Dr. Kendall and her colleagues have developed the Standardized Assessment of Phonology in Aphasia (SAPA), currently under analysis by Dr. Will Hula (Pittsburgh VA). Dr. Kendall was awarded a Fulbright Scholar Award in 2013 to teach and conduct research at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. During her Fulbright she collaborated closely with Dr. Anita van der Merwe on bilingual aphasia.

 The Aphasia Research Laboratory is affiliated with the UW Integrated Brain Imaging Center (IBIC)