Sheila Blumstein, Ph.D.
The goal of my research over the past 40+ years has been to understand the nature of language processing deficits in aphasia and to gain insight into the neural systems underlying language with a particular focus on
speech processing, the mapping of sound structure on to the lexicon, and lexical processing. I have had
extraordinary mentors in my career including Roman Jakobson, Harold Goodglass, and Ken Stevens, and I
have been fortunate to have received continuous NIH funding for my research since 1976. This support has
allowed me to do basic research on the acoustic properties of speech and to examine the acoustic properties
that give rise to the phonetic categories of speech, to identify and characterize speech production, speech
perception, and lexical processing deficits in aphasia, and more recently to begin to map out the neural
systems underlying speech and lexical processing in normals using functional neuroimaging. I use a broad
range of methodologies in my research including psychophysical, eyetracking, naming, lexical decision,
discrimination and phonetic classification tasks, and have extensive experience doing acoustic analyses of
phonetic properties of speech in both normal and aphasic participants. I now would like to take my funded
research in a new direction, applying the work I have done on speech and lexical processing in aphasia to
aphasia therapy and recovery. I believe my lab is well-positioned to take this next step translating my basic
science work to the bedside.