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Hearing and Speech Sciences

Melissa Duff
Associate Professor
Hearing and Speech Sciences
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN 37212
615-936-5057 (office)

The overall goal of the Communication and Memory Lab is to understand the cognitive and neural substrates of memory, language, and social interaction. We conduct basic and applied research across two main themes: 1) Characterizing the role of hippocampal dependent memory in language use and processing, and in flexible cognition more broadly; 2) Identification of long-term outcomes and recovery patterns in individuals with traumatic brain injury and the development of interventions for disorders of memory, learning, and communication. Methodologically, the lab combines neuropsychological, neuroimaging, and eye-tracking methods together with behavioral methods. We work to address questions about the contribution of distinct forms of memory to various aspects of communication and social interaction and the dynamic network of neural and cognitive systems that support memory and language in the everyday communicative settings. The lab is also home to the Brain Injury Patient Registry, a repository of demographic information, and state of the art neuropsychological and neuroanatomical data from individuals with focal lesions and traumatic brain injury, which serves as a unique resource for conducting large-scale basic and translational research in the area of acquired brain injury.