Body

Often after a stroke or head injury, patients lose fundamental abilities that they need to reconnect with their lives and loved ones (e.g., being aware of what’s happening around them, communicating with and without speech, understanding what words mean when listening to others, figuring out facial expressions and what emotions mean, finding the right words and getting them out, remembering enough math to use money, using gestures to convey meaning when the words won’t come).

Brain injury or disease also affects the muscles (e.g., tongue, lips) and structures (e.g., larynx or voice box) used in breathing, speaking, articulation, eating and swallowing.

Body

Located on the 25th floor of Shirley Ryan AbililtyLab, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation Think + Speak Lab is dedicated to recovery of patients with the most severe conditions affecting the fundamental functions of the human brain — arousal, lucidity, awareness, sensory perception, motivation, information-processing and thinking, perception, communication, memory and learning.  

Patients in the Think + Speak Lab are immersed in cutting-edge therapeutic interventions provided by leading professionals and research scientists with expertise in neurophysiology and neurological functioning. This special place is equipped with our AbilityLab-developed software, computers and other unique smart thinking-speaking technology and equipment. We are enhancing revolutionary techniques using brain stimulation to explore and advance plasticity of the brain. 

Recent Research Projects

The researchers in this Lab examine the delicate art of communication and thinking, examining neuropathways and the plasticity of the brain. They test solutions both physical and pharmaceutical for complex problems.

Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program

2018 - Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program

Internationally acclaimed Aphasia Program at the #1 rehabilitation hospital in the country

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Satellite image of Chicago

Community Mobility after Stroke Using Smartphones

Mobile smartphones are essentially a highly functional wearable sensor. For this project, individuals who have had a stroke will carry a smartphone while going about their daily lives to tell us about their behavior.

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Aphasia Journeys, a short film

Aphasia Community Programs

The Center for Aphasia Research and Treatment offers a variety of groups and classes for people with aphasia who are living in the community. All classes help the participant practice communicating in a supportive group environment.

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By The Numbers

Within the Think + Speak Lab, calm colors, serene graphics and acoustical elements offer a low-stimulation environment, giving patients the opportunity to focus fully on brain healing and recovery.

  • 7

    The number of private treatment rooms dedicated to patients, more than any other Lab. Patients in the Think + Speak Lab often need personalized treatment without distractions.

  • +9K

    Total square feet in the Think + Speak Lab. The space is dedicated to thinking, reasoning, talking, perceiving, swallowing, eating, and decision-making skills.

  • 10

    The number of staff — including world-renown researchers and speech-language pathologists — dedicated to the treatment of aphasia, one of the most common conditions seen in the Lab.