Aphasia & Ageing

The main interest of the Lab is to integrate Linguistic Theory with Aphasiology, to better specify the language disorder in people with aphasia.

aphasia ageing


Our research on Aphasia is aiming at integrating linguistics factors as good predictors for profiling language impairment in people with aphasia, with an emphasis on the sentence and text level of the disorder. A core part of the research is based on the investigation of morphosyntactic elements, such as inflectional morphology, pronouns, syntactic dependencies and text comprehension.

Final aim is to promote an interdisciplinary dialogue aiming at developing tools compatible with both linguistic theoretical models and the neurobiological evidence coming from patients. 

A new line of research is now looking at mapping theoretical concepts in virtual reality and serious games scenarios promoting a richer propositional attitude in patients in a controlled linguistic space.


Alberto Di Domenico

Alberto is Associate Professor in Universita’ G. D’Annunzio Chieti, Italy. He is a cognitive psychologist with an interest in both Language and its ancillary functions. Alberto is an international recognised expert in Ageing mechanisms. He is an active collaborator of the lab with an on going project for a Life Span syntactic assessment.

nino grillo

Nino Grillo

Nino is Lecturer in Psycholinguistics at the University of York. He is combining theoretical knowledge of syntactic and semantic representations with experimental methods. He has proposed a very influential model for the investigating pathological language.

David Howard

David  is both a speech and language therapist and a cognitive neuropsychologist at New Castle University. Our collaboration is on developing a comprehensive reading assessment for people with aphasia.

Theo Lim

Theo Lim

Theo research concentrates on Digital Tools (methods, techniques and strategies) including X-Reality Gamification and Serious Games. We are developing a project on enhacing language interaction in people with aphasia. 

Karen Martini

Karen is a PhD student at the Universite de Geneva. She is part of the ERC-funded project SynCart.  Together we are developing a extensive syntactic assessment, testing subjects across the Life Span.


Webster, J, Morris, J, Howard, D & Garraffa, M. (2018). Reading for meaning: What influences paragraph understanding in aphasia? American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 27, 423-437. Doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0213

Garraffa, M. & Esler, M. (2018). Construct irrelevant variance effects in the test of grammatical comprehension TROG-2. Aphasiology, 32:1, 64-66. DOI: 10.1080/02687038.2018.1487917

Garraffa, M. (2017). Contemporary and emergent theories of agrammatism. A neurolinguistic approach. Aphasiology, doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2017.1355438

Morris, J., Webster, J., Howard, D., Garraffa, M. & Malone, J. (2017). Reading in people with aphasia: the relationship between assessment of ability and perception. International Journal of Stroke, 12 (5s), 23.

Garraffa, M. & Sedda, A. (2017). Core regions for syntactic processing? A tDCS study on the language network. Proceedings Science of Aphasia, Stem-Spraak en Taalpathologie 22 (2), 47–49.

Webster J, Morris J, Howard D., & Garraffa M, (2016). Reading Comprehension in aphasia: Exploring the relationship between linguistic profile and personal perception. Front. Psychol. Conference Abstract: 54th Annual Academy of Aphasia Meeting. Doi:10.3389/conf.fpsyg.2016.68.00007.

Zanini, C., Garraffa, M. and Semenza, C. (2015). When verbs help naming nouns: a study on derived nominals in aphasia. Stem- Spraak-en Taalpathologie, 20, 16th Science of Aphasia, Venice.

Garraffa, M. & Learmouth, G. (2013). Sentence comprehension and memory load in aphasia: the role of resource reduction. Procedia – Social and Behavioural Sciences, 94, 143–144.

Garraffa, M. (2009). Minimal structures in aphasia: a study on agreement and movement in a non-fluent aphasic speaker. Lingua, 119, 1444-1457.

Garraffa, M. & Grillo, N. (2008). Canonicity effects as a grammatical phenomenon. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 21 (2), 177 – 197.


2019 Language Assessment in aphasia: the contribution of linguistics theory. CPD, Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, 1st March. 

2019 Editor for the special issue in Aphasiology: Linguistic theory and aphasia: what we have captured so far.

2018  Internal research grant, project Comprehensive language assessment for adults Institution: Heriot-Watt University Grant value: £2,780.

Member of the BNS – British Neuropsychology Society
Member of BAS – British Aphasiology Society  

Member of the Academy of Aphasia 

Member of the Aphasia Assessment group CATs – Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists