This project seeks to determine the possible utility of transcutaneous vagal nerve stimulation as an adjunct to traditional speech therapy for people with aphasia. tVNS is a user-friendly, noninvasive method of stimulating the peripheral branches of the vagus nerve through an earbud worn by the user. Stimulation of the vagus should lead to changes in arousal and attention control mechanisms that underpin cognitive performance. Preliminary results from our research indicate that tVNS enhances language learning outcomes and modulates cognitive effort during task performance. For those with aphasia, such an improvement could have even greater impact. This treatment study is specifically looking at the impact of tVNS on naming performance in individuals with aphasia.
This project is a collaboration with Polly O'Rourke.
This project is possible thanks to funding from the Brain and Behavior Institute.