Aphasia Research Lab

Areas of Investigation 

The Laboratory of Aphasia Research is specialized in the development of new rehabilitation protocols for the treatment of specific language impairments in patients with a lesion of the left hemisphere.

In aphasia treatment, two research areas have become increasingly relevant and are the subject of our scientific investigation: non-invasive brain stimulation techniques and observational therapy. The therapeutic approaches are based on the assumption that the protocol of intervention is more effective more intensive (3-4 hours per day) and time-limited (2-4 weeks). The approach is intended as an alternative to the more extensive therapeutic models, which provide rehabilitation treatments for no more than 2-3 hours per week, but prolonged for at least 3-4 months.


Non Invasive Transcranical Stimulation

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the development of rehabilitation protocols involving the use of transcranical direct current stimulation. This technique aims to achieve recovery of the language in a shorter time period compared to that observed with the traditional language therapy. The Laboratory develops programs of intensive treatment with transcranical direct current stimulation, combined with traditional speech therapy protocols. The research is closely linked to clinical practice. The choice of the rehabilitation protocol depends on the specific language difficulties encountered during patient assessment.


Observational Therapy

Scientific studies show the existence of a correlation between the motor and the language system. This evidence leads us to suppose that imitation-based therapy or the repetitive and systematic observation of daily actions, can favor the recovery of language in aphasic subjects.

The laboratory develops rehabilitation protocols which apply observational therapy to improve different aspects of speech production in aphasic subjects. The therapy is based on daily presentation of videos to the patients related to his/her environment. The patient is first called to observe their contents and then to orally describe them.

Ongoing Research Projects 
  • Neural correlates underlying the recovery of language after transcranial direct current stimulation
  • Neural correlates underlying the recovery of language after observational therapy
Completed Research Projects 
  • Strategies for the recovery of verb production in left brain-damaged patients
  • Application of non invasive brain stimulation techniques for language processing in healthy and aphasic subjects.

Laboratory of Aphasia Research​

Fondazione Santa Lucia Irccs

Via Ardeatina, 354 – 00179 Rome

Buliding B1 – Floor 1 – Room 137