- Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
- (608) 262-7583
Ph.D. University of Arizona
Effects of brain injury on cognition and communication
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.
Byom, L.J. & Turkstra, L.S. (2012). Effects of social cognitive demand on Theory of Mind in conversations of adults with traumatic brain injury. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 47(3):310-21.
Duff, M.C., Mutlu, B., Byom, L., & Turkstra, L.S. (2012). Beyond utterances: Distributed cognition as a framework for studying discourse in adults with acquired brain injury. Seminars in Speech and Language 33(1):44-54.
Johnson, J.E. & Turkstra, L.S. (2012). Inference in Conversation of Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury. Brain Injury 26(9):1118-26.
Ciccia, A.H., Meulenbroek, P., & Turkstra, L.S. (2009). Adolescent brain and cognitive developments: Implications for clinical assessment in traumatic brain injury. Topics in Language Disorders 29(3):249-265.
Raymer, A.M., Beeson, P., Holland, A., Kendall, D., Maher, L.M., Martin, N., Murray, L., Rose, M., Thompson, C.K., Turkstra, L., Altmann, L., Boyle, M., Conway, T., Hula, W., Kearns, K., Rapp, R., Simmons-Mackie, N., & Gonzalez Rothi, L. (2008). Translational research in aphasia: From neuroscience to neurorehabilitation. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 59:S259-S275.
Turkstra, L.S. (2008). Conversation-Based Assessment of Social Cognition in Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury. Brain Injury 22(5):397-409.
Turkstra, L.S., Holland, A.L., & Bays, G.A. (2003). The neuroscience of recovery and rehabilitation: what have we learned from animal research? Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 84(4), 604-612.