Associate Professor Stephen Wilson

Associate Professor in Speech

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

Overview

I am a cognitive neuroscientist with a research focus on the neural basis of language. My research is focused on three related questions:

  1. How is language processed in the brain?
  2. How does brain damage affect language processing in individuals with aphasia, i.e. acquired language disorders?
  3. What brain mechanisms support the recovery of language processing in people with aphasia who improve over time?

To address these questions, my lab studies individuals with aphasia, as well as healthy participants with normal language, using a range of state-of-the-art functional and structural neuroimaging techniques. We combine our multimodal imaging approach with comprehensive language assessments designed to quantify deficits in different components of the language processing system, such as syntactic structure, word meanings, and the selection and assembly of speech sounds.

Language Neuroscience Laboratory

Research Interests

  • Aphasia
  • Language and the brain
  • Cognitive neuroscience

Publications

  • Lukic, Sladjana, Fan, Zekai, García, Adolfo M., Welch, Ariane E., Ratnasiri, Buddhika M., Wilson, Stephen M., Henry, Maya L., Vonk, Jet, Deleon, Jessica, Miller, Bruce L., Miller, Zachary, Mandelli, Maria Luisa and Gorno-Tempini, Maria Luisa (2024). Discriminating nonfluent/agrammatic and logopenic PPA variants with automatically extracted morphosyntactic measures from connected speech. Cortex, 173, 34-48. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2023.12.013

  • Levy, Deborah F, Entrup, Jillian L, Schneck, Sarah M, Onuscheck, Caitlin F, Rahman, Maysaa, Kasdan, Anna, Casilio, Marianne, Willey, Emma, Davis, L Taylor, de Riesthal, Michael, Kirshner, Howard S and Wilson, Stephen M (2024). Multivariate lesion symptom mapping for predicting trajectories of recovery from aphasia. Brain Communications, 6 (1) ARTN fcae024, fcae024. doi: 10.1093/braincomms/fcae024

  • Casilio, Marianne, Kasdan, Anna V., Schneck, Sarah M., Entrup, Jillian L., Levy, Deborah F., Crouch, Kelly and Wilson, Stephen M. (2024). Situating word deafness within aphasia recovery: A case report. Cortex, 173, 96-119. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2023.12.012

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Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Aphasia is one of the most common and debilitating consequences of stroke. Aphasia is caused by damage to language regions of the brain, which are usually localized to the left hemisphere. Fortunately, most individuals with aphasia after a stroke experience some degree of recovery of language function over time. The pace of recovery is greatest in the first weeks and months, but clinically meaningful gains in language function are possible even years after stroke. Recovery from aphasia is thought to depend on neural plasticity, that is, functional reorganization of surviving brain regions such that they take on new or expanded roles in language processing. However, despite much research, the mechanisms that underlie this process of functional reorganization remain poorly understood. The overall goals of this project are to better characterize the neural correlates of recovery from aphasia after stroke, and to determine which patterns of functional reorganization are associated with more versus less favorable language outcomes. This project involves a range of innovative methodologies including functional MRI with adaptive language mapping, comprehensive language assessments designed to quantify deficits in different components of the language processing system, and advanced machine learning algorithms to disentangle complex relationships between structural damage, neurofunctional changes, and language outcomes. A better understanding of the biological mechanisms that underlie recovery from aphasia will improve the clinical management of individuals with aphasia.

  • I am interested in advising students on any and all projects related to language and the brain. This includes language processing in neurologically normal individuals, as well as research with individuals with aphasia (acquired language deficits due to neurological damage). Please visit our lab website to learn more about our research program.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Henry, Maya L., Wilson, Stephen M. and Rapcsak, Steven Z. (2014). Primary progressive aphasia. Geriatric neurology. (pp. 252-266) edited by Anil K. Nair and Marwan N. Sabbagh. Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781118730676.ch9

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Aphasia is one of the most common and debilitating consequences of stroke. Aphasia is caused by damage to language regions of the brain, which are usually localized to the left hemisphere. Fortunately, most individuals with aphasia after a stroke experience some degree of recovery of language function over time. The pace of recovery is greatest in the first weeks and months, but clinically meaningful gains in language function are possible even years after stroke. Recovery from aphasia is thought to depend on neural plasticity, that is, functional reorganization of surviving brain regions such that they take on new or expanded roles in language processing. However, despite much research, the mechanisms that underlie this process of functional reorganization remain poorly understood. The overall goals of this project are to better characterize the neural correlates of recovery from aphasia after stroke, and to determine which patterns of functional reorganization are associated with more versus less favorable language outcomes. This project involves a range of innovative methodologies including functional MRI with adaptive language mapping, comprehensive language assessments designed to quantify deficits in different components of the language processing system, and advanced machine learning algorithms to disentangle complex relationships between structural damage, neurofunctional changes, and language outcomes. A better understanding of the biological mechanisms that underlie recovery from aphasia will improve the clinical management of individuals with aphasia.

  • I am interested in advising students on any and all projects related to language and the brain. This includes language processing in neurologically normal individuals, as well as research with individuals with aphasia (acquired language deficits due to neurological damage). Please visit our lab website to learn more about our research program.