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Lecturers and talks

Practicalities          Abstract submission         School schedule            Our lectures            Contacts

Day 1, July 2nd

Maria Ivanova
Center for Language and Brain, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

Evidence-based practice in communication disorders: how does the search for evidence begin and where it will take us
In this talk we will cover origins and evolution of evidence-based practice.  We will talk about importance and validity of different levels of evidence and how to search for it by asking the right questions.  We will conclude with the discussion on how to appraise diagnostic and treatment evidence in communication disorders.  This presentation is intended to provide a guide for listeners in defining, obtaining, appraising and applying evidence from external research, clinical practice and personal clinical experience to make optimal decisions about provided care.

Brooke Hallowell
Ohio University, Communication Sciences and Disorders, College of Health Sciences and Professions, Athens, OH, USA

Frameworks for conceptualizing aphasia: Relevance to everyday clinical practice
Theories of what constitutes aphasia have evolved ever since the syndrome of aphasia was first identified. Over the past 50 years, diverse means of conceptualizing aphasia have proliferated. In this session we will review a range of important frameworks for conceptualizing aphasia. Participants will be challenged to consider what they see as strengths and weaknesses of particular frameworks, and to reflect on how the way they conceptualize aphasia relates to their own sense of clinical excellence.

Capturing competence: Strategies for learning about the true abilities of people with aphasia
Some of the greatest challenges for clinicians working with people who have aphasia involve the complexity of problem solving required to understand any individual’s neurological and psychosocial conditions. We often face obstacles on the road to drawing valid conclusions about the myriad influences on a given person’s ability to communicate, participate maximally in desired daily life activities, and have a strong sense of identity and well-being. A vital aspect of the ongoing assessment process is the differentiation of a person’s true underlying abilities from our observation of his or her overt performance. In this session, we will differentiate the constructs of competence  and performance , and explore the importance of attending to potentially confounding factors in assessing cognitive-communicative abilities in adults with acquired neurogenic disabilities. We will then discuss the importance of a process analysis approach to assessment, and consider examples of how such an approach may be applied in clinical practice. Strengths-based and empowering approaches to assessment will be emphasized.

Day 2, July 3rd

Nina Dronkers

VA Northern California Health Care System  University of California, Davis, CA, USA; Center for Language and Brain, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

Using neuroimaging to assess brain-language relationships
Modern neuroimaging techniques have revolutionized the way we examine the brain areas involved in language. This presentation will discuss the different types of neuroimaging tools now available for assessing brain-language relationships. Students will become familiar with these techniques and how to interpret their findings. We will see that traditional neurolinguistic models are being re-assessed, and additional regions and networks of the brain are now being included in models of language processing.

Using neuroimaging to assist in diagnosis and treatment  
The neurolinguistics literature is providing more and more information about the brain areas involved in language. But, how can this information be applied to clinical management? This lecture will provide examples of how clinicians can make use of neuroimaging findings to guide their diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of brain-injured patients. With neuroimaging results now more readily-accessible, clinicians can make use of this information to further guide their approach to patient management, if they so choose.

Audrey Holland 
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA; University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA; Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA 

Social approaches to the treatment of aphasia  
This presentation will describe and discuss one of the major trends in treatments for aphasia in the English-speaking world, the incorporation of principles of the Life Participation Approaches into treatment of aphasia.  This will be described in the first section of the presentation.  Then, because it It  is relatively simple to adapt functional communication concerns and everyday language into more formal work on word retrieval and other traditional treatment approaches, some simple adaptations will be given.  Following this, I will describe  functional compensatory treatments, and the importance in training others to support aphasic communication in everyday life.  Finally, I will discuss the dynamic growth of group treatment and intensive aphasia centers.  Throughout the talk, the use of technology, tele therapy  will be featured. 

The Famous People Protocol (FPP): Focusing assessment on knowledge, not language
This new assessment protocol differs from both impairment-based approaches (e.g., Luria's approach) and those that stress functional (consequence-based) communication (e.g., CADL-3). Its goal is to assess HOW individuals with aphasia might communicate their knowledge,despite severe language impairments. The FPP incorporates, provides opportunities for, and encourages the use of all modes of communication, from drawing, to gesturing, to writing, to talking. In this way, it provides a general  clinical roadmap  to successful communication, using the skills that are identified by the test. Although the FPP is designed for current contemporary American culture, it is easily adapted for other cultures, by substituting appropriate photographs of historical figures and celebrities for the person with aphasia to identify.

Day 3, July 4th

Yulia Akinina
Center for Language and Brain, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia; Center for Language and Cognition, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands

One does not simply translate: adapting language therapy to Russian
There are few theory-based language therapies in Russian with demonstrated effectiveness. Adaptation of an existing program from another language may be a solution. In this talk, I will give a practical overview of linguistic features and variables of Russian that should be taken into account during the adaptation process. Also, I will describe the adaptation of the Verb Network Strengthening Treatment (Edmonds, 2014) to Russian, and the results of a pilot therapy effects study will be presented.

Roelien Baastiaanse
Center for Language and Cognition, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands

Contribution of linguistics to the assessment of aphasia  
Aphasia is defined as a language disorder and (neuro)linguistics focuses on the structure of language and its representation in the brain. This implies that aphasia may serve as a source for neurolinguistics, but also that (neuro)linguistics can contribute to the understanding of aphasia and the underlying linguistic deficit. This is the reason that neurolinguists and clinical linguist are working on the development of tests and procedures to assess the nature of the impairments in aphasic individuals. To give an example: until about 15 years ago, tests assessing comprehension and production of verbs and their role in the sentence were not available. However, neurolinguists recognized the importance of such materials, because deficits at the level of verbs seriously hampers communication. This resulted in the development of reliable and valid tests for the clinical world. In this talk, the reason behind these and other linguistically motivated tests will be explained. Also, ideas will be launched and discussed with the participants on how to fill the caveats that still exist.

Contribution of linguistics to the treatment of aphasia  
When we consider aphasia to be a deficit in the production and comprehension of language, we should recognize that this deficit can only be treated when we understand how language is processed in the brain and how recovery processes take place. For example, it is still not clear to which stages of stroke recovery restoration of functions is possible and when should we start to focus on compensation rather than restoration. However, whatever the purpose of language training is, it should always be aimed at the underlying language deficit. In order to train the underlying language impairments, thorough knowledge of linguistic processing and of language representation in the brain is required. In this talk, examples of treatment based on neurolinguistic theories and aiming at the underlying deficit will be presented and there will be a discussion on how we can continue to translate the ever growing insight in language deficits to new treatment programs and training methods.


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