Lyn Turkstra

Lyn Turkstra Prof Pic
Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
(608) 262-7583


Ph.D. University of Arizona

Lab Website:

Research Focus:

Effects of brain injury on cognition and communication

Research Strength:

Behavior, Cognition, and Emotion

Research Description:

The broad goal of research in our laboratory is to understand the effects of brain injury on brain functions related to communication ability, in individuals with neurologic disorders. We have chosen communication as a model for studying effects of brain injury because communication skills are critical for successful outcome after brain injury, and are exquisitely sensitive to brain damage. Communication requires rapid, flexible, and complex interactions among cognitive functions, and it is these interactions and their relation to human behavior that are the subject of our research.

The main clinical population studied in our lab is individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adolescents in the United States and a leading cause in adults. TBI often has devastating effects on social, academic, and vocational functioning, and communication ability is a significant predictor of success in each of these domains.

Current studies aim to characterize basic cognitive and perceptual mechanisms underlying communication behaviors, from eye-gaze patterns to perception of social emotions in complex, animated scenes. The lab is multidisciplinary, with collaborators in Computer Science, Psychology, and Neurobiology.

As a clinical lab, the ultimate goal of our research is to design interventions that will improve communication functioning, so that children, adolescents, and adults with brain injury can return successfully to community, school, and work life.


Please see PubMed for most recent publications