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Loraine K. Obler, Ph.D. (CV)
In addition to her position in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Loraine K. Obler has a joint appointment in the Linguistics Program. As well, she and Martin Albert are co-PIs of the NIH-funded Language in the Aging Brain Laboratory of the Boston University School of Medicine Harold Goodglass Aphasia Research Center at the VA Boston Healthcare Center. Her research articles reflect her interests in such topics as the language changes associated with healthy aging and Alzheimer's disease, neurolinguistic study of bilingualism, cross-language study of agrammatism, and neuropsychology of talent as it relates to dyslexia and individual differences in second-language acquisition. The books she has co-authored or co-edited include Aspects of Multilingual Aphasia (with M. Gitterman and M. Goral, Multilingual Matters, 2012), Communication Disorders in Spanish Speakers: Theoretical Research and Clinical Aspects (with J. Centeno and R. Anderson, Multilingual Matters, 2007), Language and the Brain (with K. Gjerlow, Cambridge University Press, 1999), Language and Communication in the Elderly (with M.L. Albert, D.C. Heath and Co., 1980), Neurobehavior of Language and Cognition: Studies of Normal Aging and Brain Damage (with L. Connor, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000), and The Bilingual Brain: Neuropsychological and Neurolinguistic Aspects of Bilingualism (with M.L. Albert, Academic Press, 1978).

Graduate Students


JungMee Yoon
Jungmee Yoon is a Level III doctoral student in the lab at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research interest broadly involves cognitive processes underlying language functions, with specific areas of interest including bilingualism and cross-language interference in lexical retrieval.


Amy Vogel-Eyny
She is currently a level 3 doctoral student currently working on her dissertation that examines the contribution of frontal and temporal brain areas to lexical processing, such as unique entity retrieval and tip-of-the-tongue states, in healthy older adults through the use of transcranial direct current stimulation. Her work investigates language production changes in healthy aging as well as the contribution of cognitive processes to maintaining or even improving language abilities. She is additionally interested in further understanding neural plastic changes in the aging brain, particularly for language tasks, and the extent to which such changes are evidence of compensatory or deficient processing.  An important aspect of her research is that her findings have functional relevance to the populations she examines.

Jet Vonk
Jet Vonk is a doctoral candidate with a focus on language and dementia. Her Ph.D. dissertation concentrates on semantic and psycholinguistic features’ processing and neurobiology in Primary Progressive Aphasia, by relating behavioral language and cognitive measures to cortical thickness and volume via structural MRI scans. Other research projects and interests include lexical-semantic aspects in Alzheimer’s disease and healthy aging, the role of sensory-perceptual cortices in the neurobiology of language, and the influence of cognitive reserve capacity on healthy older adults’ language and cognitive abilities. 
Jet holds a B.A. in Dutch Language and Culture, a B.A. in Linguistics, and a Research M.A. in Language and Cognition from the University of Groningen (Netherlands), as well as an M.Phil. from the CUNY Graduate Center. She received multiple grants and fellowships for her studies and research, among which a Fulbright Scholarship. 
Besides with the Neurolinguistics Laboratory at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York, Jet is affiliated as a visiting scholar with the ALBA Lab of Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini, M.D., Ph.D at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology in San Francisco. Additionally, several of her projects are in collaboration with the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University, and the Language in the Aging Brain Project at Boston University/Boston VA Healthcare System.

Jungna Kim
Jungna is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Neurolinguistics lab in the Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences program with an Enhanced Chancellor's Fellowship. Her research interests mainly lie in the relationship between cognitive controls (e.g., working memory, interference control, and updating) and bilingual auditory discourse (text) processing. She is also actively participating in several research projects with various collaborators. These include a) a project where two language comprehension tests are reviewed for reliability and validity, b) a collaborative research on the effectiveness of Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program (ICAP), c) a collaborative research on sentence processing in older adults using an eye-tracking method, d) a collaborative research project on language intervention for patients with concussion using tDCS, e) a project on L2 acquisition in aging population, and f) a graduate-student research on multilingual aphasia. She received her Bachelor's degree in French and English linguistics and a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics.

Iris Strangmann
My name is Iris Strangmann and I'm currently a level 2 doctoral student in the Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences program at the CUNY Graduate Center. I completed my Bachelor's and Master's degree in Linguistics from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. My research interests include working memory, language, and the aging brain. More specifically, how neurofunctional optimization and/or reorganization can compensate for atrophy in the brain. In terms of research methods, I'm interested in neuroimaging and electroencephalography. In addition to my own research I'm involved in a project examining phonological and semantic priming as demonstrated by eye-movements in children diagnosed with Specific Language Impairment.

Taryn Malcolm
Taryn Malcolm is currently a doctoral student and member of Loraine Obler’s Neurolinguistics lab in the Speech-Language-Hearing Science Department. She received her Master of Arts Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from St. John’s University.  She has practiced as a speech-language pathologist in acute and sub-acute rehabilitation with pediatric, adult, and geriatric populations, with a focus on neurogenic disorders, respiratory/voice disorders, and dysphagia. Her main areas of research interest include bilingualism, aphasia, bilingual aphasia, and neurological processes underlying acquired language disorders. She is currently working on a research project investigating cross-linguistic influence in speakers of Jamaican Creole following immersion in the environment of their second language.

Aviva Polus
I am currently a level 2 doctoral student in the neurolinguistics lab. I have a B.A. in speech and language pathology, and an M.A. in bilingualism and biculturalism, from Hadassah Academic College, Jerusalem. I have worked as an SLP for almost 10 years in adult rehabilitation in Israel. My interests include bilingualism, aging and aphasia and I am currently working on my doctoral research proposal on treatment of bilingual aphasia in the SLP clinic.

Marta Korytkowska
Marta Korytkowska M.S. CCC-SLP is a Speech Language Pathologist with a focus on adult speech, language and swallowing disorders. She is a second level doctoral student in the Neurolinguistics lab. Her first examination project focused on executive functions and bilingual advantage in heritage language bilinguals. Marta’s current research interests and projects are related to lexical retrieval in healthy adults and those with fluent aphasia. Her primary focus is on the treatment research in acquired aphasia and primary progressive aphasia.
In addition to her work at the Graduate Center, Marta is involved in research on treatment of acquired alexia in bilingual individuals in the Neurolinguistics Lab at Lehman College.

Tatiana Talavera
Interests are in working memory and language changes among individuals with Alzheimer’s. Her BA (honors) is in English and Writing from Hunter College, where she specialized in Attic, Homeric and Koine dialects of Ancient Greek.

Stanley Chen
Stanley Chen is a level 1 doctoral student in the lab. He received his dual BA from National Chengchi University, focusing on linguistics in English and Historical Chinese and an MSEd from the University of Pennsylvania in TESOL. Recently, he has completed his MA in linguistics at the GC, working on filler-gap dependencies in Mandarin as his thesis project. His main interests include bilingualism, psycholinguistics, and neurolinguistics.

Zahra Hejazi
Zahra received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in speech and language pathology from Tehran University of Medical Sciences and St. John’s University. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Speech-Language-Hearing sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her interests include aphasia, bilingualism, and healthy aging.

Yasmine Ouchikh is a Ph.D. student who graduated from the City College of New York in 2014 with her BA in Psychology. She is interested in the effects of bilingualism on speech perception and executive functioning in young and old adults. She is also interested in the neurolinguistics of bilingualism, neuroplasticity, cognition, and information overload.

Visiting Scholars in residence at GSUC Neurolinguistics Lab

Dr. Zhilong Xie
Dr. Zhilong Xie is director and Associate Professor at the Foreign Language Teaching & Education Centre at Jiangxi Normal University (China). He got Bachelor’s degree in English Language Education and Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics. He got Doctor’s degree in Psycholinguistics. His current research focuses on bilingual advantage and the interaction between cognitive control and bilingual usage. Other areas of research include foreign language teaching, second language acquisition, and intercultural communication.

Teresa Signorelli Pisano
Teresa Signorelli Pisano has a BA in Spanish Language and Literature from Binghamton University, an MS in Speech-Language Pathology from Boston University, and a PhD in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences from the CUNY Graduate Center. She is a bilingual speech-language pathologist in practice since 1993. Dr. Signorelli recently resigned her position as Clinic Director in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at Marymount Manhattan College after nine years to return to research and consult for non-profit organizations. Her research interests are in language development and rehabilitation in bilinguals and auditory comprehension in patients with aphasia.

2013, 2016 Zohar Eviatar, Haifa University (invited)
2012, 2016 Alexandre Nikolaev (post-doc, U. of Joensuu)
2011-12 Jet Vonk, University of Groningen
2010-11 Carmit Altman, Bar Ilan University, Mina Hwang, Dankook University
2009 Veronica Morena, University of Valencia
2006 Anat Stavans, Hebrew University and Beit Beryl College, Israel.
2005 – 2008 Seija Pekkala, Helskini University, Finland
2004 Alessandra Riccardi, Universita per Stranieri, Perugia, Italy; Ruth Berman, Tel Aviv University, Israel; Anne Aimola Davies, Australian National University
2003 Jessica Cancila, Universita per Stranieri, Perugia, Italy
2001 Prathibha Karanth, Shetty Institute, Mangalore, India
1987 Pirkko Kukkonen, Helsinki University, Finland


Lindsey Foo
Lindsey Foo is a second-year graduate student from St. John's University working as a research assistant in the Neurolinguistics Lab. She has a Bachelors of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests lie in the nature and treatment of aphasia and related neurogenic communication disorders with a focus on bilingualism.

Daniela Castilla


Graduates their dissertations and current affiliations


Higby, E. (2016) “Native language adaptation to novel verb argument structures by Spanish-English bilinguals: An electrophysiological investigation”

Paplikar, A. (2016) “Language age-mixing in discourse in bilingual individuals with non-fluent aphasia”

Ashaie, S. A. (2016) “Modulating the semantic system: The role of bilateral anterior temporal lobes in confrontation naming- A combined tDCS and eye-tracking study”

Hyun, J. (2016) Hyun, J. (2016) "The Relationship Between Lexical Performance and Regional Gray Matter Volumes: A Longitudinal Study of Cognitively Healthy Elderly"

Park, Y. (2015) “Roles of shifting attention, alternating attention and inhibition on temporary syntactic ambiguity resolution and use of context in younger and older adults”

Conner, P. (2013) “Novel spoken word learning in adults with developmental dyslexia”

O’Connor Wells, B. (2011) “Frequency, Form-Regularity and Semantic Effects in Agrammatism:  Evidence from Spanish Ser and Estar"

Datta, H. (2010) “Brain Bases of First Language Attrition in Bengali-English Speakers”, Molloy College

Anema, I. (2008) “The Relationship between Fluency-based Suprasegmentals and Comprehension in Oral and Silent Reading in Dutch Speakers of English”, SUNY New Paltz

Signorelli, T. (2008) “Working Memory in Simultaneous Interpreters”, Marymount Manhattan College

Ijalba, E. (2007) “Markers of Dyslexia in Spanish-Speakers who Report Severe Difficulties Learning English”, Queens College, CUNY

Neumann, Y. (2007) “An Electrophysiological Investigation of the Effects of Age on the Time Course of Segmental and Syllabic Encoding during Implicit Picture Naming in Healthy Younger and Older Adults”, Queens College, CUNY

Galletta, E. (2003) “Recognition of Accented English in Advancing Age”, Hunter college, CUNY

Mathews, P. (2003) “Derivational Morphology in Agrammatic Aphasia:  A Reading-aloud Study”

Schmidt, B. (2003) “The Relation between Oral Reading and Silent Reading Comprehension Skill”, Molloy College, Chair

Haravon, A. (2002) “Grounding Communication Between Deaf and Hearing People: Technological Advances”

Jones, J. (2002) “Agrammatism in a Bidialectal Speaker of AAVE and SAE”

Goral, M. (2001) “Lexical Access and Language Proficiency of Trilingual Speakers”, Lehman College, CUNY

Wiener, D. (2000) “Mechanisms of Inhibition in Wernicke’s Aphasia”

Meth, M. (1998) "The Influence of Verb Stem Features on Inflected Word Production in Patients with Agrammatic Aphasia"

Chobor, K. (1996) "Processing of Lexical Ambiguity by Brain Damaged Patients"

Centeno, J. (1996) "Use of Verb Inflections in the Oral Expression of Agrammatic Spanish speaking Aphasics", St. John's University, Chair

Eng Huie, N. (1994) "Dissolution of Lexical Tone in Chinese Speaking Aphasics", Hunter College, CUNY

De Santi, S. (1992) "Automatic Speech in Alzheimer's Dementia" , General Electric

Johnson, K. (1991) "Metalinguistic Abilities in Literate Adults"

Domingo, R. A. (1991) "The Influence of Setting and Interlocutor on the Ability of Adult Retarded Speakers to Exhibit Control in an Instructional Context"

Mahecha, N.R. (1990) "The Perception of Code Switching Cues by Spanish English Bilinguals"

Bloom, R. (1990) "Dissolution of Discourse in Patients with Unilateral Brain Damage", Hofstra College, Acting Dean

Ehrlich, J. (1989) "Influence of Structure on the Content of Oral Narrative in Adults with Dementia of Alzheimer's Type"

Humes Bartlo, M. (1988) "Neuropsychological Substrates of Success and Failure in Childhood Second Language Learning"