This research theme is led by Professor Katerina Hilari. It investigates the nature and treatment of adult acquired communication disorders, with a particular emphasis on aphasia.
Themes in aphasia include: the investigation of aphasic language impairments, the impact of aphasia therapy, interventions to improve emotional and social wellbeing in people with aphasia, and assessment, outcome measurement and the self- reported experience of aphasia. In this last area, tools developed at City, e.g. the SAQOL-39g, have become an international gold standard and are recommended for use in all aphasia trials and intervention studies (see Core Outcome Set for Aphasia). A current project in this area is exploring administering assessment tools via telehealth and developing resources to assist telehealth assessment.
Our studies are exploring the use of technology in aphasia therapy. We are exploring the benefits of a virtual communication environment, EVA Park, and virtual therapies (e.g., VESFA) for people with aphasia, and are evaluating therapies that make use of mainstream technologies, such as text to speech software (e.g., CommuniCATE, READ-IT.) Many of AAIR’s aphasia projects are conducted in collaboration with City’s Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design. A recent project with this Centre developed tools that enable people with aphasia to create and curate digital content (INCA).
We are evaluating the impact of therapies on communication activities, participation, wellbeing and quality of life. Our interventions aimed at improving wellbeing in people with aphasia include peer-befriending (SUPERB), Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SOFIA) and an innovative service in the University Clinic offering psychological support (WISA). Further work is developing a novel intervention for narrative discourse (LUNA). We are also developing through co-production with people with aphasia and their partners a novel communication partner training intervention (APT project). Our work aims to develop and see implemented in clinical practice interventions that make a real difference to the lives of people with aphasia. Our research-based resources are available at City Access Resources for Aphasia.
Special Interest Groups
A Special Interest Group of AAIR focuses on cognitive-communication disorders after acquired brain injury. We are interested in interventions, such as communication partner training (TANGO), that help people with brain injury communicate better with others including, spouses, family members, friends, and paid carers. Our research also explores the use of project-based intervention (project examples) which has led to an annual online course for clinicians (click to register). Another strand is looking at how people with traumatic brain injury date and how we can best support the development of relationships.
We have also undertaken work in residential care homes for older people looking at improving the communication environment (STARs). We are seeking ways to enhance wellbeing and communication by facilitating and promoting storytelling among care home residents; and by providing care home staff with the training and resources they need.
In head and neck cancer research, our work has explored, among other things, the development and evaluation of outcome measures for this population and quality of life and swallowing outcomes after laryngectomy. A current project develops a new intervention to improve voice in people with laryngectomy. Past and present collaborators include the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists’ Head & Neck Clinical Excellence Network, the University College London Hospital and Barts Health NHS Trusts.
Another Special Interest Group focuses on dysphagia research across the lifespan (see also DAIR). With adults, the dysphagia group have a particular focus on laryngectomy, and adults with learning disabilities.
The group has attracted research funding from national and international bodies including: the Barts Charity, the Bupa Foundation, the Dunhill Medical Trust, the EPSRC, the EU, the NIHR, the Sir Halley Stewart Trust, The Stroke Association, and the Tavistock Trust for Aphasia.
This theme is led by Professor Nicola Botting. It investigates language, communication, and related skills in children with developmental conditions.
Developmental Language Disorder
DAIR explores the identification, impact, and interventions for those with developmental language disorder (DLD). We are at the forefront of furthering awareness and understanding of DLD via the Engage with DLD project (E-DLD) and a new research project on data visualisation in adults with DLD. Our group has also carried out high-impact longitudinal research into the long-term consequences of DLD in adolescence and young adulthood (Manchester Language Study), developed innovative interventions to boost language skills in primary school-age children with DLD (e.g., working memory), established novel dynamic assessment methodologies, explored cross-linguistic aspects of language acquisition and developed language assessments for monolingual and multilingual children in different cultures and languages.
DAIR also looks at the language, communication and related cognitive strengths and needs of autistic children, and those with higher likelihood of an autism diagnosis (e.g., siblings of autistic children). Recent research on eyewitness memory in autistic children has highlighted their many strengths as witnesses (Access to Justice) and emphasised how Registered Intermediaries within the justice system can offer tailored, individualised support. Early years studies have developed assessment and diagnostic tools (Early Sociocognitive Battery) for the identification of children with language difficulties, social communication needs, or both (see also: VEPS). Further work on social communication, functional language, and narrative coherence is feeding into novel assessments, apps and support for autistic children.
Another area of research in DAIR concerns children and young people with learning disabilities. Current projects are looking at eating and drinking in children with learning disabilities. Recently completed work explored predictors of language and literacy skills in adolescents with learning disabilities both in the UK and in Sweden (Memory and Language in Children).
Dysphagia/Paediatric Feeding Disorder
A final research area in DAIR explores eating, drinking, and swallowing skills and difficulties (dysphagia and/or paediatric feeding disorder). Projects have looked at neonatal feeding, paediatric gastrostomy tube feeding, parents’ perceptions of instrumental swallow assessments, supporting the eating and drinking of children with neurodisability through use of mealtime mats and education staff training, and typical development of swallowing skills. A current project is looking at the best way to support family-carers who physically assist their children at mealtimes to create Safe, Efficient and Enjoyable Mealtimes (not as easy as it may SEEM).
The DAIR group has attracted research funding from national and international bodies including: Barts Charity, Baily Thomas Charitable Trust, Communication Trust, Department for Education, Department for International Development, ESRC, EPSRC, EU, Heather Van der Lely Foundation, Hong Kong Research Grants Council, Nuffield Foundation, NIHR, Redbridge, and Barking and Dagenham local authorities, Swedish Research Council, The Waterloo Foundation.
The Speech, Language and Hearing Lab is led by Professor Jo Verhoeven, an internationally recognised expert in phonetics. He facilitates research in the areas of typical and atypical speech, language and hearing and work with lab members to provide technical and methodological support and expertise to the AAIR and DAIR research themes. The Lab provides technical assistance, methodological and research expertise in the study of speech, language and hearing, such as a wide range of instrumental techniques and expertise of how to use these in studies of typical and atypical speech and language.
The Lab facilities have state-of-the-art instrumentation to analyse various aspects of speech production such as oral/nasal airflow and pressure (Pcquirer, Nasometer), vocal fold vibration (laryngography), tongue-palate contact in speech (Electropalatography), tongue configuration in articulation (Ultrasound). In addition, the lab has a wide range of software packages to analyse the acoustic characteristics of speech. Audiological equipment consists of screening and clinical audiometers, tympanometers, an oto-acoustic emissions and auditory brainstem response screener and a range of hearing aids for mild-moderate and severe-profound hearing loss and several sound level meters (among others B&K type 2250). There is also a range of software applications to analyse aspects of hearing.
From a linguistic perspective, the Lab supports research on the use of linguistic analysis in clinical settings and the development of discourse treatment programmes for people with aphasia (LUNA) and for older adults living in residential settings (STARs). Another significant research strand has focused on language, identity and inclusion within professional contexts – a focus that has included analysis of gendered discourses in Speech and Language Therapy and the role they may play in maintaining a lack of diversity in this professional context. Finally, several publications have focused on the key principles and contributions of core research methodologies in linguistic research.
Here is a list of the academic staff who work in the Centre for Language & Communication Science Research. You can find out more about each member of staff, including their latest publications and their contact details by following the links below.
Over the past five years, members of the AAIR group have generated £2.2 million in research grant income. This rises to over £3.5 million with external collaborations.
2019-2022 Tingle, J. (PI), Wilson, J., Loveday, H., Harding, C., &Harrison, K. Delivering safe and effective nutrition and hydration care to residents with dysphagia: A theory- based approach to delivering a link dysphagia practitioner. NIHR, Research for Patient Benefit, £390,000.
2019-2021 Marshall, J. (Co-PI), Woolf, C. (Co-PI), Cruice, M., & Wilson, S. A new reading intervention for people with aphasia. Sir Halley Stewart Trust. £60,000.
2019-2020 Hilari, K. (PI), Pritchard, M., Marshall, J., Roper, A., Woolf, C., & Wilson, S. City Access - Resources for Aphasia (CARA). An online portal for clinical assessments and intervention programmes. The Tavistock Trust for Aphasia, £28,740 and The Stroke Association £9,675, Total £38,415.
2018-2021 Cruice, M. (Co-PI), Dipper, L. (Co-PI), Botting, N., Marshall, J., Hersh, D., & Boyle, M. Linguistic Underpinnings of Narrative in Aphasia (LUNA): A proof-of-concept study of a novel discourse treatment for aphasia using personal narratives. The Stroke Association, £205,257.
2016-2019 Hilari, K. (PI), Marshall, J., Simpson, A., Thomas, S., Flood, C., Northcott, S., McVicker, S., & Goldsmith, K. Adjustment post stroke and aphasia: SUpporting wellbeing through PEeR Befriending (SUPERB). The Stroke Association, 2015 Priority Programme Award – Psychological Consequences of Stroke, £490,664.
2016-2019 Marshall, J. (PI), Cruice, M., Wilson, S., & Woolf, C. Delivering group support for people with aphasia through a virtual communication environment. The Stroke Association, £158,111.
2016-2019 Northcott, S. (PI) & Hilari, K. (Supervisor). Adapting a psychosocial intervention for people with post-stroke aphasia: a feasibility study. The Stroke Association Post-doctoral Fellowship, £174,990.
2016-2017 Marshall, J. (PI), & Wilson S. Taking EVA Park into Service. The Tavistock Trust for Aphasia, £54,729.
2015-2018 Brady, M (PI), Palmer, R., Bowen, A., Godwin, J., Hilari, K., Howard, D., Worrall, L., Thomas, S., Horton, S., Ali ,M., Visch-Brink, E.G., Elders, A., Laska, A.C., Kukkonen, T., Hinckley, J., Godecke, E., Price, C., & MacWhinney, B. REhabilitation and recovery of peopLE with Aphasia after StrokE (RELEASE): Utilizing secondary data to enhance speech and language therapy interventions for people with aphasia after stroke. NIHR HS&DR, £446,158.
2014-2017 Marshall, J. (Co-PI), Woolf, C. (Co-PI), Cruice, M., Wilson, S., & Stokes, C. Enhancing communication in aphasia through technology (CommuniCATE). The Barts Charity, £415,785.
2012-2015 Varlokosta, S. (PI), Oikonomou, A., Papathanasiou, I., Hilari, K., Tsapkini, K., et al. Interdisciplinary study of Aphasia in the Greek language. European Social Fund and The Greek Ministry for Education and Lifelong Learning: Thales call, Є600,000.
Over the past five years, members of the DAIR group have generated over £1 million in research grant income. This rises to over £3.2 million with external collaborations.
2019-2022 Harding, C. (PI) & Rowe, A. Supporting parents to provide early communication support for infants born preterm. OVO Charitable Foundation, £190,000
2019-2022 Millard, S. (PI), Joffe, V.L., Rixon, L., Murphy, S. et al. Evaluating Palin Stammering Therapy for Children: a feasibility study. NIHR, Research for Patient Benefit. £249,928
2019-2021 Spicer-Cain, H.M. (PI) & Botting, N.Very early predictors of grammatical, phonological and school readiness skills at school age in siblings of children with communication disorders. Heather van der Lely Trust. £74,179.
2019-2021 Stojanovik, V., (PI), Pagnamenta, E., Joffe, V.L. (C.I.), Harvey, K., Thompson, B. et al. Evaluating an early social communication intervention for young children with Down syndrome: a feasibility study. NIHR, Research for Patient Benefit. £248,679.
2018-2020 Henry, L.A. (PI), Messer, D.M., Poloczek, S. & Danielsson, H. Language, literacy and procedural memory in children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities. Baily Thomas Charitable Fund, £101,924.
2017-2021 Danielsson, H. (PI), Samuelsson, S., Elwér, A., Messer, D.M. & Henry, L.A. (C.I.). Why are adolescents with intellectual disability poor readers? A comparison of person and environment factors that predict reading in intellectual disability. Swedish Research Council (Educational Sciences), SEK 7,258,000 (approx. £650,000).
2016-2019 Murphy, S., (Co-PI), Crafter, S., Joffe, V.L. (Co-PI), Messer, D. et al. Evaluating ‘Enhancing Pragmatic Language skills for Young children with Social Communication Disorder’ (E-PLaYS), a feasibility study. NIHR, Research for Patient Benefit, £252,738.
2016-2017 Joffe, V.L. (PI). Language and Communication Skills in Long Term Unemployed Adults. Ingeus, £10,000.
2015-2016 Joffe, V.L. (PI). Process evaluation of a Community Assessment and Diagnostic Service. Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, £25,000.
2014-2017 Henry, L.A. (PI), Hill, E., Leonard, H. & Bernardi, M. Executive functioning in children with developmental coordination disorder – PhD Extension for follow-up study. The Waterloo Foundation, £9,489.
2014-2015 Joffe, V.L. (PI). Health promotion and risk reduction through mobile health checks and health and wellbeing workshops within the community in London borough with high levels of social deprivation. North Middlesex University Hospital, £15,000.
2013-2016 Henry, L.A. (PI), Wilcock, R. & Crane, L. Access to justice for children with autism spectrum disorders, ESRC (ES/J020893/2), £376,525.
2011-2015 Conti-Ramsden, G. (PI), Durkin, K., Pickles, A., & Botting, N. (Co-PI). Specific Language Impairment and Adulthood. ESRC (RES-062-23-2745), £998,000.
Brady, M. C., Ali, M., Berg, K. V., Williams, L. J., Williams, L. R., Abo, M., Becker, F., Bowen, A., Brandenburg, C., Breitenstein, C., Bruehl, S., Copland, D. A., Cranfill, T. B., Di Pietro-Bachmann, M., Enderby, P., Fillingham, J., Galli, F. L., Gandolfi, M., Glize, B., Godecke, E., Hawkins, N., Hilari, K.ORCID: 0000-0003-2091-4849, Hinckley, J., Horton, S., Howard, D., Jaecks, P., Jefferies, E., Jesus, L. M. T., Kambanaros, M., Kang, E. K., Khedr, E. M., Kong, A. P. H., Kukkonen, T., Laganaro, M., Lambon Ralph, M. A., Laska, A. C., Leemann, B., Leff, A. P., Lima, R. R., Lorenz, A., Macwhinney, B., Marshall, R. S., Mattioli, F., Mavi̧s, I., Meinzer, M., Nilipour, R., Noé, E., Paik, N. J., Palmer, R., Papathanasiou, I., Patrício, B. F., Martins, I. P., Price, C., Jakovac, T. P., Rochon, E., Rose, M. L., Rosso, C., Rubi-Fessen, I., Ruiter, M. B., Snell, C., Stahl, B., Szaflarski, J. P., Thomas, S. A., Van De Sandt-Koenderman, M., Van Der Meulen, I., Visch-Brink, E., Worrall, L. & Wright, H. H. (2022).
Complex speech-language therapy interventions for stroke-related aphasia: The RELEASE study incorporating a systematic review and individual participant data network meta-analysis.
Health and Social Care Delivery Research, 10(28),
Brady, M. C., Ali, M., VandenBerg, K., Williams, L. J., Williams, L. R.ORCID: 0000-0003-2430-1142, Abo, M., Becker, F., Bowen, A., Brandenburg, C., Breitenstein, C., Bruehl, S., Copland, D., Cranfill, T. B., di Pietro-Bachmann, M., Enderby, P., Fillingham, J., Galli, F. L., Gandolfi, M., Glize, B., Godecke, E., Hawkins, N., Hilari, K.ORCID: 0000-0003-2091-4849, Hinckley, J., Horton, S., Howard, D., Jaecks, P., Jefferies, E., Jesus, L. M. T., Kambanaros, M., Kang, E. K., Khedr, E. M., Kong, A. P., Kukkonen, T., Laganaro, M., Ralph, M. L., Laska, A-C., Leemann, B., Leff, A. P., Lima, R. R., Lorenz, A., MacWhinney, B., Marshall, R. S., Mattioli, F., Mavis, I., Meinzer, M., Nilipour, R., Noe, E., Paik, N-J., Palmer, R., Papathanasiou, I., Patrício, B., Martins, I., Price, C., Jakovac, T. P., Rochon, E., Rose, M. L., Rosso, C., Rubi-Fessen, I., Ruiter, M. B., Snell, C., Stahl, B., Szaflarski, J. P., Thomas, S., van de Sandt-Koenderman, M., van der Meulen, I., Worrall, L., Wright, H. H. & The REhabilitation and recovery of peopLE with Aphasia after Str (2021).
Dosage, Intensity, and Frequency of Language Therapy for Aphasia: A Systematic Review-Based, Individual Participant Data Network Meta-Analysis.
Haidinger, G., Klimont, J., Alexander, S., Zhang, W-H., Vandervelpen, E., Delnord, M., Kolarova, R., Yordanova, E., Rodin, U., Drausnik, Z., Filipovic-Grcic, B., Kyprianou, T., Scoutellas, V., Velebil, P., Mortensen, L. H., Sakkeus, L., Abuladze, L., Gissler, M., Blondel, B., Deneux-Tharaux, C., Durox, M., Philibert, M., Zeitlin, J., Fresson, J., Heller, G., Misselwitz, B., Antsaklis, A., Berbik, I., Olafsdottir, H. S., Kearns, K., Sikora, I., Cuttini, M., Loghi, M., Donati, S., Boldrini, R., Misins, J., Zile, I., Isakova, J., Touvrey-Lecomte, A., Billy, A., Couffignal, S., Weber, G., Gatt, M., Nijhuis, J., Broeders, L., Achterberg, P. W., Hindori-Mohangoo, A., Klungsoyr, K., Akerkar, R., Engjom, H., Szamotulska, K., Mierzejewska, E., Barros, H., Rodrigues, C., Horga, M., Tica, V., Puscasiu, L., Budianu, M-A., Cucu, A., Calomfirescu, C., Cap, J., Mandic, N. T., Verdenik, I., Zurriaga, O., Alcaide, A. R., Jane, M., Vidal, M. J., Kallen, K., Nyman, A., Rihs, T., MacFarlane, A. J.ORCID: 0000-0003-0977-7214, Wood, R., Monteath, K., Smith, L., Morgan, S., Hillen, J. & Euro-Peristat Res Network (2021).
Population birth data and pandemic readiness in Europe.
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 129(2),
Ali, M., VandenBerg, K., Williams, L., Williams, L., Abo, M., Becker, F., Bowen, A., Brandenburg, C., Breitenstein, C., Bruehl, S., Copland, D., Cranfill, T. B., Pietro-Bachmann, M. di, Enderby, P., Fillingham, J., Lucia Galli, F., Gandolfi, M., Glize, B., Godecke, E., Hawkins, N., Hilari, K.ORCID: 0000-0003-2091-4849, Hinckley, J., Horton, S., Howard, D., Jaecks, P., Jefferies, E., Jesus, L.M.T., Kambanaros, M., Kyoung Kang, E., Khedr, E. M., Pak-Hin Kong, A., Kukkonen, T., Laganaro, M., Lambon Ralph, M. A., Charlotte Laska, A., Leemann, B., Leff, A., Lima, R., Lorenz, A., Mac Whinney, B., Shisler Marshall, R., Mattioli, F., Mavis, I., Meinzer, M., Nilipour, R., Noe, E., Paik, N-J., Palmer, R., Papathanasiou, I., Patrício, B., Pavao Martins, I., Price, C., Prizl Jakovac, T., Rochon, E., Rose, M., Rosso, C., Rubi-Fessen, I., Ruiter, M. B., Snell, C., Stahl, B., Szaflarski, J. P., Thomas, S. A, van de Sandt-Koenderman, M., van der Meulen, I., Visch-Brink, E., Worrall, L., Harris Wright, H. & Brady, M. C. (2021).
Predictors of Poststroke Aphasia Recovery.
Brady, M. C., Ali, M., VandenBerg, K., Williams, L. J., Williams, L., Abo, M., Becker, F., Bowen, A., Brandenburg, C., Breitenstein, C., Bruehl, S., Copland, D., Cranfill, T. B., di Pietro-Bachmann, M., Enderby, P., Fillingham, J., Galli, F., Gandolfi, M., Glize, B., Godecke, E., Hawkins, N., Hilari, K.ORCID: 0000-0003-2091-4849, Hinckley, J., Horton, S., Howard, D., Jaecks, P., Jefferies, E., Jesus, L.M.T., Kambanaros, M., Kang, E. K., Khedr, E. M., Kong, A. P., Kukkonen, T., Laganaro, M., Lambon-Ralph, M. A., Laska, A., Leemann, B., Leff, A. P., Lima, R. R., Lorenz, A., MacWhinney, B., Marshall, R. S., Mattioli, F., Mavis, I., Meinzer, M., Nilipour, R., Noe, E., Paik, N-J., Palmer, R., Papathanasiou, I., Patrício, B., Martins, I., Price, C., Jakovac, T. P., Rochon, E., Rose, M., Rosso, C., Rubi-Fessen, I., Ruiter, M. B., Snell, C., Stahl, B., Szaflarski, J. P., Thomas, S. A., van de Sandt-Koenderman, M., van der Meulen, I., Visch-Brink, E., Worrall, L. & Wright, H. H. (2020).
Communicating simply, but not too simply: Reporting of participants and speech and language interventions for aphasia after stroke.
International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 22(3),
Fan, Q., Pozarickij, A., Tan, N. Y. Q., Guo, X., Verhoeven, V. J. M., Vitart, V., Guggenheim, J. A., Miyake, M., Tideman, J. W. L., Khawaja, A. P., Zhang, L., MacGregor, S., Höhn, R., Chen, P., Biino, G., Wedenoja, J., Saffari, S. E., Tedja, M. S., Xie, J., Lanca, C., Wang, Y. X., Sahebjada, S., Mazur, J., Mirshahi, A., Martin, N. G., Yazar, S., Pennell, C. E., Yap, M., Haarman, A. E. G., Enthoven, C. A., Polling, J. R., Bailey-Wilson, J. E., Veluchamy, A. B., Burdon, K. P., Campbell, H., Chen, L. J., Chew, E. Y., Craig, J. E., Cumberland, P. M., Deangelis, M. M., Delcourt, C., Ding, X., Evans, D. M., Gharahkhani, P., Iglesias, A. I., Haller, T., Han, X., Hoang, Q., Igo, R. P., Iyengar, S. K., Kähönen, M., Kaprio, J., Klein, B. E., Klein, R., Lass, J. H., Lee, K., Lehtimäki, T., Lewis, D. D., Li, Q., Li, S. M., Lyytikäinen, L. P., Meguro, A., Metspalu, A., Middlebrooks, C. D., Mizuki, N., Musolf, A. M., Nickels, S., Oexle, K., Pang, C. P., Paterson, A. D., Rahi, J. S., Raitakari, O., Rudan, I., Stambolian, D., Simpson, C. L., Wang, N., Bin Wei, W., Williams, K. M., Wilson, J. F., Wojciechowski, R., Yamashiro, K., Yam, J. C. S., Zhou, X., Aslam, T., Barman, S. A., Barrett, J. H., Bishop, P., Blows, P., Bunce, C., Carare, R. O., Chakravarthy, U., Chan, M., Chua, S. Y. L., Crabb, D. P.ORCID: 0000-0001-8754-3902, Cumberland, P. M., Day, A., Desai, P., Dhillon, B., Dick, A. D. & Egan, C. (2020).
Genome-wide association meta-analysis of corneal curvature identifies novel loci and shared genetic influences across axial length and refractive error.
Communications Biology, 3(1),