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Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

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Neurotherapeutics

Neurotherapeutics group investigates the neural mechanisms underpinning language recovery. The group is jointly led by Prof Jenny Crinion and Prof Alex Leff.

Jenny Crinion

Aex Leff

Jenny Crinion

Group Leader - Crinion Lab

j.crinion@ucl.ac.uk

Alex Leff

Group Leader - Leff Lab

a.leff@ucl.ac.uk

Neurotherapeutics Research

We are independent clinical researchers working at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL. We have a shared interest in understanding the neural mechanisms underpinning language recovery.

Our two main aims are:

  1. To provide a mechanistic account of how different therapies (behavioural, brain stimulation, pharmacological) interact with residual language neural networks; with the aim of stratifying therapy for patients with acquired brain injury.
  2. To develop novel digital therapeutics (web-based therapies) and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (home-based tDCS) to generate translational therapies that are financially self-sustaining.

Group Members

Haya Akkad

Haya Akkad

Haya is a research assistant with a background in clinical and cognitive neuroscience. Her current research focuses on optimising neurorehabilitation for patients with language production difficulties due to aphasia. To do this, she uses methods of non-invasive brain stimulation alongside functional brain imaging and behavioural therapy. 

David Sabate Barbera

David Barbera
david.barbera.16@ucl.ac.uk

MRC Industrial CASE PhD student interested in developing software to help people with aphasia recover their speech. I am involved in the iTALKbetter project for which I am preparing the speech recognition module and its integration into a mobile platform. My background is in Mathematics, Economics and Computer Games programming.

Henry Coley-Fisher

Henry Photo

Henry is a Research Assistant and PhD student with a background in psychology and cognitive neuroscience. His current research focuses on Digital Interventions in Neuro-rehabilitation (DINR). Henry is also investigating whether stroke patients who have trouble understanding speech also have problems processing non-speech sounds. He is also involved in the Listen-In project.

Catherine Doogan

Cathrine Doogan

Catherine is a Post Doc and Clinical Psychologist who is working on developing three Digital Interventions in Neuro-Rehabilitation (DINR). The first, iTALKbetter, is an interactive word retrieval therapy for with people with aphasia; the second is to help people with dementia remember the names of familiar people, while the third is for stroke patients with visuo-spatial neglect.

Victoria Fleming

Victoria Fleming

Victoria is a Research Assistant and PhD student working on the ‘Listen-In’ project, funded by the NIHR i4i programme. Her PhD is focused on developing and testing a home-based digital therapy application, for individuals with impaired speech comprehension caused by stroke. Victoria is using a combination of behavioural and structural imaging (MRI) methods to investigate the efficacy of speech comprehension therapy, and identify factors which predict treatment outcomes. She will also use longitudinal structural imaging techniques to investigate treatment-related neuroplasticity.  

Victoria is a Speech and Language Therapist, and completed her undergraduate training at University College London in 2014. Prior to this Victoria completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex.

Hui Hui Gan

Davide Nardo

Hui Hui is currently an MSc student in Cognitive Neuroscience. She has practised as a Speech Language Therapist in Singapore for over 10 years and her special interest is in communication disorders after acquired brain injury. The current project she is working on is exploring the neural correlates underlying naming error patterns in Aphasia using confrontational naming and picture description tasks. 

Sheila Kerry

Sheila Kerry
sheila.kerry.11@ucl.ac.uk

Sheila is a post-doctoral research associate working on the Back of the Brain Project (BoB). This collaborative project is concerned with visual and cognitive problems following stroke to the back of the brain. Sheila’s PhD focussed on a reading therapy app, called iReadMore, for people with a post-stroke reading disorder.  She used Magnetoencephalography to investigate connectivity changes in participants with Central Alexia as a result of using iReadMore. 

Thomas Langford

Thomas Langford
 

Tom is a PhD student with a background in neuroengineering. His current research focuses on the optimization and personalization of a reading therapy app for patients with central alexia. Tom is funded by an MRC industrial CASE studentship and is working with industry partner, Neurodiversity. 

Emily Upton

Emily Upton

Emily is a Research Assistant and PhD student with a background in speech and language therapy and cognitive neuroscience. Her current research focuses on the development of three Digital Interventions in Neuro-Rehabilitation (DINR). These include: 1) the iTALKbetter word retrieval therapy app for people with post-stroke aphasia; 2) the Gotcha! name retrieval therapy app for people with dementia; and 3) an app for stroke patients with visuo-spatial neglect. As part of her PhD, she will use MRI to investigate how brain damage relates to changes in speech production following the use of the iTALKbetter app.

Alumni 

Sharifa Al-Ragam

Sharifa Al-Ragam
sharifa.alragam.12@ucl.ac.uk

App-delivered therapy for Arabic readers with Hemianopic Alexia. Rehabilitation of left-sided Hemianopic Alexia patients following stroke in Arabic-speaking readers. Eye-movement tracking of Hemianopic Alexia patients following stroke in Arabic-speaking readers. Primary supervisor: Dr. Jenny Crinion. Secondary supervisor: Dr Alex Leff

Davide Nardo

Davide Nardo
d.nardo@ucl.ac.uk

I am a postdoctoral research associate with a background in cognitive and clinical neuroscience. My current research focuses on the effects of neurostimulation (tDCS) and phonemic-cueing-based anomia training on spoken language recovery in chronic aphasic patients, investigated with both behavioural and functional neuroimaging techniques.

Katerina Pappa

Katerina Pappa
katerina.pappa@ucl.ac.uk

I am a research assistant with a background in psychology and cognitive neuroscience. My research focuses on the neurorehabilitation of aphasic patients with speech production difficulties. My current project involves implementing neurostimulation techniques (tDCS) combined with functional neuroimaging techniques and behavioural training.