Cynthia K. Thompson

Cynthia K. Thompson's research focuses on normal and disordered language and how language recovers in persons with brain damage. This work makes use of mutually supportive language representation (linguistic) and processing accounts of normal language to predict breakdown and recovery patterns. These patterns provide blueprints for clinical protocols and, in turn, address the utility of this translational approach for studying language disorders. The processing mechanisms that support recovery also are studied by tracking eye movements in sentence processing and production, and the neural correlates of recovery are examined using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).


Aphasia and Neurolinguistics Research Lab


PhD Speech and Language Pathology/Linguistics, University of Kansas
MS Psychology, University of Oregon
MS Speech and Language Pathology, University of Oregon
BS Psychology, University of Oregon (honors)

Recent Publications

Bastiaanse, R., & Thompson, C.K. (2012). Perspectives on Agrammatism. New York: Psychology Press.

Cho-Reyes, S., & Thompson, C.K. (In Press). Verb and sentence production and comprehension: Northwestern Assessment of Verbs and Sentences (NAVS). Aphasiology.

Thompson, C.K., Lukic, S., King, M., Mesulam, M.M., & Weintraub, S. (In Press). Verb and noun deficits in stroke-induced and Primary Progressive Aphasia: the Northwestern Naming Battery. Aphasiology.

Mesulam, M.M., Wieneke, C., Thompson, C.K., Rogalski, E., & Weintraub, S. (In Press). Quantitative classification of Primary Progressive Aphasia at early and mild impairment stages. Brain.

Meinzer, M., Beeson, P., Cappa, S., Crinion, J., Kiran, S., Saur, D., Parrish, T., Crosson, B., & Thompson, C.K. (In Press). Neuroimaging in aphasia treatment research: Consensus and practical guidelines for data analysis. NeuroImage.

Thompson, C.K., Meltzer-Asscher, A., Cho, S., Lee, J., Wieneke, C., Weintraub, S., & Mesulam, M.M. (In press). Syntactic and morphosyntactic processing in stroke-induced and primary progressive aphasia. Behavioral Neurology.

Meltzer-Asscher, A., Schuchard, J., den Ouden, D.D., & Thompson, C.K. (In press). The neural substrates of complex argument structure representations: Processing 'alternating transitivity' verbs. Language and Cognitive Processes.

Thompson, C.K., Cho, S., Price, C., Wieneke, C., Bonakdarpour, B., Weintraub, S., & Mesulam, M.M. (2012). Semantic interference duringobject naming in agrammatic and logopenic Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). Brain and Language, 120, 237-250.

Meyer, A.M., Mack, J.E., & Thompson, C.K. (2012). Tracking passive sentence comprehension in agrammatic aphasia. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 25(1), 31-43. PMC3203204.

Den Ouden, D.B., Saur, D., Mader, W., Schelter, B., Lukic, S., Wali, E., Timmer, J., & Thompson, C.K. (2012). Network modulation during complex syntactic processing. Neuroimage, 59(1), 815-823. PMC3195988.

Thompson, C.K., Cho, S., Hsu, C.J., Wieneke, C., Rademaker, C., Weitner, B.B., Mesulam, M.M., & Weintraub, S. (2012). Dissociation between fluency and agrammatism in Primary Progressive Aphasia. Aphasiology, 26(1), 20-43. PMC3244141.

Lee, J., & Thompson, C.K. (2011). Real-time production of arguments and adjuncts in normal and agrammatic speakers. Language and Cognitive Processes, 26(8), 985-1021. PMC3272782.

Bastiaanse, R., Bamvaci, E., Hsu, C.J., Lee, J., Duman, T.Y., & Thompson, C.K. (2011). Time reference in agrammatic aphasia: A cross-linguistic study. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 24(6), 652-673.

Lee, J., & Thompson, C.K. (2011). Real-time production of unergative and unaccusative sentences in normal and agrammatic speakers: An eyetracking study. Aphasiology, 25(6-7), 813-825.

Rogalski, E., Cobia, D., Harrison, T., Wieneke, C., Thompson, C.K., Weintraub, S., & Mesulam, M.-M. (2011). Anatomy of language impairments in Primary Progressive Aphasia. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(9), 3344-3350.

Kielar, A., Milman, L., Bonakdarpour, B., & Thompson, C.K. (2011). Neural correlates of covert and overt production of tense and agreement morphology: Evidence from fMRI. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 24(2), 3344-3350.

Choy, J., & Thompson, C. K. (2010). Binding in agrammatic aphasia: Processing to comprehension. Aphasiology, 24(5), 551-579.

Cho, S., & Thompson, C.K. (2010). What goes wrong during passive sentence production in agrammatic aphasia: An eyetracking study. Aphasiology, 24(12), 1576-1592. PMC3008810.

Thompson, C.K., Choy, J.J., Holland, A., & Cole, R. (2010). Sentactics®: Computer-automated treatment of underlying forms. Aphasiology, 24(10), 1242-1266. PMC3002176

Riley, E.R., & Thompson, C.K. (2010). Semantic typicality effects in acquired dyslexia: Evidence for semantic impairment in deep dyslexia. Aphasiology, 24(6-8), 802-813. PMC2882310.

Hashimoto, N., & Thompson, C.K. (2010). The use of the picture-word interference paradigm to examine naming abilities in aphasic individuals. Aphasiology, 24(5), 580-611.

Thompson, C.K., den Ouden, D.B., Bonakdarpour, B., Garibaldi, K., & Parrish, T. (2010). Neural plasticity and treatment-induced recovery of sentence processing in agrammatism. Neuropsychologia, 48(11), 3211-3227.

Thompson C.K., Bonakdarpour, B., Fix, S.C. (2010). Neural mechanisms of argument structure processing in agrammatic aphasia and healthy age-matched listeners. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22(9), 1993-2011. PMC2873169.

Faroqi-Shah, Y., & Thompson, C.K. (2010). Production latencies of morphologically simple and complex verbs in aphasia. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 24(12), 963-979.

2006 - 2009 Publications [pdf]

Awards and Honors

2011 Endowed Investiture of the Jean and Ralph Sundin Professorship, Northwestern University
2008 Editor's award, American Journal of Speech and Language Pathology, American Speech Language-Hearing Association
2007 Martin E. and Gertrude G. Walder Award for Research Excellence, Northwestern University
2004 Fellow, Buehler Center on Aging
2001 Fellow, Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, Northwestern University
1999 Fellow, American Speech Language and Hearing Association

Active Grants

2009-2012 Neurolinguistic Intervention and Cortical Stimulation in Agrammatic Aphasia. The National Institutes of Health (NIDCD) R21 DC 010036-01-03. $419,375.00.
2008-2013 Neurolinguistic Investigations of Aphasia and Aphasia Recovery (continuation). The National Institutes of Health (NIDCD) RO1 DC001948-15-19. $2,274,703.00.
2007-2012 Language in Primary Progressive Aphasia. The National Institutes of Health (NIDCD) RO1 DC008552-06-10. $2,195,205.


CSD 314 Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience
CSD 452 Language Science - 2
CSD 507 Neural Mechanisms of Language Processing
CSD 543 Overview of Language Disorders
CSD 545 Survey of Research in Communication Sciences and Disorders
CSD 550-1 Research Methods-1
CSD 550-2 Research Methods-2


Cynthia K. Thompson

Ralph and Jean Sundin Professor of Communication Sciences


Communication Sciences and Disorders


Frances Searle Building
2240 Campus Drive, Room 3-363
Evanston, IL 60208-2952



Graduate Programs:

Communication Sciences and Disorders