Argye Hillis

Johns Hopkins University

Argye E. Hillis is a Professor of Neurology, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins. She serves as the Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, and Director of the Cerebrovascular Division.  She began her career as a Speech-Language Pathologist (for more than a decade) and Director of Neurological Rehabilitation, focusing on studies of novel treatments of aphasia and communication disorders after right hemisphere stroke.  She also studied Cognitive Neurolopsychology under the mentorship of Alfonso Caramazza in the Cognitive Neuropsychology Laboratory and Cognitive Science Department at Johns Hopkins, where she later became a faculty member.  Her research focused on identifying the cognitive processes underlying language and spatial representations through the study of aphasia and hemispatial neglect, and how these investigations might help focus rehabilitation.

Dr. Hillis then completed medical training and neurology residency at Johns Hopkins, and integrated her training in the fields of Speech-Language Pathology and Cognitive Science with Neurology to continue her investigations of aphasia and right hemisphere cognitive and communicative impairments and how they recover.  Her research combines longitudinal task-related and task-free functional imaging and structural imaging with detailed cognitive and language assessments to reveal the dynamic neural networks that underlie language and cognitive tasks.  Her lab studies changes from the acute stage of stroke through the first year of recovery, to improve our understanding how language and other cognitive functions recover after stroke and how to facilitate recovery. Recent treatment studies, including a Project funded by the Center for the Study of Aphasia Recovery (C-STAR) evaluate the effectiveness of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as a method of augmenting structured language therapy.  The Hillis lab also studies decline in Primary Progressive Aphasia, and how to reduce the rate of decline in language (with language therapy alone or augmented with tDCS).  Her research is supported by the National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders and by the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke.