UCL Psychology and Language Sciences

Prof Rosemary Varley

Prof Rosemary Varley

Chair of Acquired Disorders of Language Communication

Language & Cognition

Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences

Joined UCL
6th Feb 2012

Research summary

My research focuses on developing biologically plausible accounts of human cognition, particularly in the domains of speech and language, and language-linked cognitive function. Particular areas of interest are exploring the role of language in thought by examining the effects of severe aphasia on non-language cognition, and the use of intensive behavioural stimulation regimes to facilitate recovery from aphasia and apraxia. Current research uses a range of methods, including behavioural investigations with healthy adults and people with post-stroke communicative impairments, and also fMRI and TMS methodologies.

Core research themes are: aphasia; apraxia of speech; neurobiology of speech and language; the role of language in thought; cognition in severe aphasia; usage-based models of word and sentence processing.

Teaching summary

I coordinate the module Establishing Research Foundations, which is part of the Doctorate in Clinical Communication Studies.


Rosemary Varley is Professor of Acquired Language Disorders in the Department of Language and Communication at UCL. Previous posts have included work in the NHS and research/teaching posts at the University of Hong Kong and the University of Sheffield. Most of her work is directed at the investigation of post-stroke impairments in adults. Major research themes are the application of neuroscience to rehabilitation, the development of biologically plausible accounts of speech and language, and exploration of residual cognition in severe aphasia to establish the role of language in thought and other domains of cognition. She is co-author of the software SWORD, a program that allows people with post-stroke speech disorder to self-manage their therapy. She co-authored the textbook Introduction to Language Pathology (with David Crystal). She has published research in major international journals such as Nature Reviews Neuroscience and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA. Her research is funded by government research councils and charities. In 2006, she was awarded an ESRC Professorial Fellowship.