Lab Members, Fall 2016














*Not pictured: Ashley Antony (volunteer), Tiffany Brooks (Research Technician), Sarah Holmstrom (Research Technician), Jonathan Gao (volunteer), and Lucia Gurrola (volunteer).

Principal Investigator

Cynthia K. Thompson, Ph.D.
Ralph and Jean Sundin Professor
Frances Searle Building
2240 Campus Drive, Room 3-363
Evanston, IL 60208-2952
Phone: 847-491-2421
Fax: 847-467-7377

 Lab Personnel

Jennifer Mack, Ph.D. (Yale University, 2010)
Research Assistant Professor
Joined lab in 2011. Involved in normal and disordered sentence processing studies, using eyetracking, and studies examining the neural correlates of verb and sentence processing.


Matthew Walenski, Ph.D. (University of California San Diego, 2002)
Research Associate
Joined lab in 2014. My research interests revolve around the roles that different brain regions play in the comprehension and production of language. I am also particularly interested in how these aspects of language unfold in time, using methods that offer a fine-grained temporal sensitivity such as eye-tracking and electroencephalography (EEG) / event-related potentials (ERP).


Min Liao, Ph.D. (Macquarie University, 2015)
Joined lab in 2015. Involved in the translation of diagnostic tests into Chinese formats.



Elena Barbieri, Ph.D. (University of Milano-Bicocca, 2012)
Research Associate
Joined lab in 2012. Involved in studies investigating the neural correlates of verb processing in healthy speakers and aphasic patients, as well as in examining the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on the language abilities of patients suffering from primary progressive aphasia (PPA).


Mejrima (Mary) Cosic
Project Manager
Joined lab in 2005. Coordinates all lab projects.



Sarah Holmstrom, B.A. (Northwestern University, 2016)
Research Technician, Aphasia Support Group Co-Leader
Joined the lab in 2017. Involved in clinical treatment & testing of patients, narrative and discourse analysis, EEG/ERP studies, eye-tracking studies, lab outreach, and facilitating communication between the multiple labs involved  with the Center for the Neurobiology of Language Recovery.


Tiffany Brooks, B.S. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2016)
Research Technician, Aphasia Support Group Co-Leader
Joined the lab in 2017. Involved in clinical treatment & testing of patients, narrative and discourse analysis, eye-tracking studies, lab outreach, and facilitating communication between the Aphasia Lab and the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center.


Brianne Dougherty, B.S. (University of Illinois at Chicago, 2012)
Research Technician, Aphasia Support Group Co-Leader
Joined the lab in 2013. Involved in EEG/ERP studies, administering language tests and treatment to patients, and entering and analyzing data.

Doctoral Candidates

Eduardo Europa
Research: Neuroimaging of language processing, efficacy of aphasia treatment; neurobiology of recovery. Functional connectivity.




Chien Ju Hsu
Research: Sentence processing deficits in stroke-induced aphasia and Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA).




Katie Aveni



ashley-antonyAshley Antony (Undergraduate)






Jonathan Gao (Undergraduate)






Jiayi Lu (Undergraduate)






Kathy Xie (Undergraduate)





Lucia Gurrola (Undergraduate)


(Year completed Ph.D.)

Sladjana Lukic, Ph.D. (2016) University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California
Julia Schuchard, Ph.D. (2015) Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
Soojin Cho, Ph.D. (2012) Advance Health Solutions, LLC
Jiyeon Lee, Ph.D. (2011) Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
Ellyn Riley, Ph.D. (2011) Syaracuse University, Syracuse, New York
Janet Choy, Ph.D (2010) University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
Naomi Hashimoto, Ph.D. (2006) University of Wisconsin, River Falls, Wisconsin
Steve Fix, Ph.D. (2005)
Yasmeen Faroqi-Shah, Ph.D. (2004) University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
Swathi Kiran, Ph.D. (2001) Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
Mikyong Kim, Ph.D. (2001) University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island
Kirrie J. Ballard, Ph.D. (1997) University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Ruby Drew, Ph.D. (1996) West Carolina University
Sandra L. Schneider, Ph.D. (1996) Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee


PostDoctoral Fellows

Elena Barbieri, Ph.D. (2012-2017) Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
Min Liao, Ph.D. (2015-2016) Beijing Language and Culture University, Beijing, China
Michaela Nerantzini, Ph.D. (2013-2015) Technological Educational Institution of Western Greece, Patras, Greece
Aya Meltzer-Asscher, Ph.D. (2010-2012) Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Ellyn Riley, CCC-SLP, Ph.D. (2011-2012) Syaracuse University, Syracuse New York
Aneta Kielar, Ph.D. (2009-2011) Rotman Research Institute, Toronto, Canada
Aaron M. Meyer, Ph.D. (2008-2010) Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia
Dirk-Bart den Ouden, Ph.D. (2006-2010) University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
Steve Fix, Ph.D (2005-2007)
Borna Bonakdarpour, M.D. (2001-2008) Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
Michael Walsh Dickey, Ph.D. (2000-2007) University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Lisa Milman (2003-2006) Utah State University, Logan, Utah
Miseon Lee, Ph.D. (2000-2003) Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea


Visiting Scholars

Patricia Pastoriza-Domínguez, M.A. (2017) Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Aya Meltzer-Asscher, Ph.D. (2013-2014) Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Tongquan Zhou (2013-2014) Central China Normal University, Wuhan, China
Elena Barbieri (2010-2011) University of Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy
Christina Manouilidtou (2014) University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Dorothee Saur, MD (2009-2010) University of Leipzig Medical Center, Leipzig, Germany