By Julius Fridriksson

For a while, I have been contemplating the idea of adding a blog to the C-STAR website. After much procrastination and endless excuses, we are finally doing this. The blog, which we call ChitChat, will be a forum where members of the C-STAR team and anyone else who is interested in aphasia, neurobiology of language, or related areas can post their reflections on a given topic or issue.

For example, ChitChat will provide an opportunity for short summaries of new research forthcoming in peer-reviewed publications as well as discussions of things that may not fit so well in peer-reviewed pubs. I will moderate the blog and welcome your posts/input. For each post on ChitChat, readers will have the opportunity to discuss on Twitter or Facebook. My plan is to make updates as necessary if we receive feedback regarding potential inaccuracies or if something is not clearly written.

Please note that ChitChat is not necessarily intended as a thorough review of all the issues raised here and I apologize in advance if important work or viewpoints were ignored that might be helpful to the discussion. If you have any comments/questions/concerns, please let me know:



The Use and Abuse of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) in Aphasia Research

By Grant Walker A college introductory calculus professor once revealed to our class that, despite the public perception, mathematicians are often the laziest people around. The reason that mathematics attracts lazy people, he explained, is because it can provide short-cuts for solving [...]


Aphasia Therapy Research: Breakthroughs Wanted

If you read my previous posts on the ChitChat blog, you’ll have noticed that I am a big advocate of aphasia therapy. Being an advocate of aphasia therapy may seem like an odd thing in this day and age when evidence in favor of aphasia therapy seems considerable, including from clinical trials [...]


Reporting From the Land of COVID-19 Aphasia

By Audrey Holland I am a foreign correspondent, writing to my home country from a country I have never visited be-fore. I am visiting the land of COVID-19 Aphasia. The field that I report on is aphasia, particularly what is happening in the world of managing aphasia’s consequences. That is , [...]


Gabby Giffords and the Lack of Access to Aphasia Therapy

I rarely watch anything on TV anymore that truly moves me. This week was an exception: The video of Gabby Giffords during the Democratic National Convention was such an inspiring and uplifting moment. I suspect almost all who read this will know Gabby’s story, a U.S. Representative from Arizona [...]


The Neurobiology of Syntax: A follow-up Discussion Regarding Peter Hagoort’s C-STAR Lecture

By: Peter Hagoort, William Matchin, Greg Hickok, Natalia Levshina, & Dirk den Ouden Introduction On March 25 of this year (2020) I presented my on-line lecture “Beyond the language given: Language processing from an embrained perspective” in the wonderful C-STAR lecture series, organized [...]


From Electronic Toys to Speech Production

My passion for understanding the mechanisms of how things work and why they break down started from the early childhood years. My generation grew up with the advent of electronic technologies, from remote controller cars to video tape players and Walkman! I remember I was never interested to [...]


In the defense of ‘naming’ as an outcome measure in aphasia therapy studies

“Driving into work this morning I set a new personal record: I was able to name 324 items that I saw on my way…” said no one, ever. Naming things out loud seems like a bizarre activity and not something we engage in on regular basis. Yet, almost all comprehensive tests of aphasia include a […]


Aphasia Therapy Doesn’t Work

I was very fortunate to be the last student to start PhD study with Audrey Holland (University of Arizona). One of the many benefits of studying under Audrey’s tutelage is that she was very “hands off” and encouraged her students to explore new things and to question convention. I found this [...]


Aphasia treatment outcome measures – some are worse than others

One would hope that anyone who has been involved with aphasia treatment studies has at some point struggled with the question of what primary outcome measure to use. If they have not, I would argue that they have not been paying attention. It is no surprise, therefore, that our C-STAR group [...]