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

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).


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).


Kaitlyn Litcofsky, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University, 2017)
Postdoctoral Fellow
Joined lab in 2017. Involved in studies of sentence processing in healthy speakers and aphasic patients using on-line measures with high temporal resolution, including eye-tracking and electroencephalography (EEG)/event-related potentials (ERPs).


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



Kathy Xie, B.S. (Northwestern University, 2017)
Research Technician, Aphasia Support Group Co-Leader
Joined the lab in 2017. Involved in clinical treatment & testing of patients, narrative and discourse analysis, data management and analysis, and lab outreach. Assists in data collection using behavioral and neuroimaging measures.


Amanda Salman, B.S. (Loyola University Chicago, 2017)
Research Technician, Aphasia Support Group Co-Leader
Joined the lab in 2018.

Doctoral Candidates


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



Doctoral Students

Brianne Chiappetta, B.S. (University of Illinois – Chicago)

Research: Music and language processing, how music and language are represented in the brain, how these processes are similar to or different from each other, and how they interact with memory and attention.



Jiayi Lu (Undergraduate)

Research: Examining sentence comprehension in Chinese speakers using electroencephalography (EEG)



Emma Maxwell (Volunteer)

Caitlin Somerville (Undergraduate Research Aide)

Isabella Vavra (Undergraduate Research Aide)


(Year completed Ph.D.)

Eduardo Europa, Ph.D. (2017) University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California
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

Jennifer E. Mack, Ph.D. (2011-2018) University of Massachusetts-Amherst
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) University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
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