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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Ellyn Riley

Riley portrait

Associate Professor

Communication Sciences and Disorders

1200 621 Skytop


Research and Teaching Interests

Acquired disorders of language, improving treatment outcomes for persons with aphasia, the role that cognitive fatigue plays in the recovery process, biofeedback as a tool to enhance speech and language therapy for the stroke population. For a complete listing of Dr. Riley's research go to her Laboratory Website.

Research Spotlight

Our research lab is interested in learning more about how to improve treatments for aphasia, a language disorder primarily caused by stroke. For example, severe fatigue is a common problem in the stroke population and current speech-language therapy does not typically include specific protocols for fatigue management. The lab’s is currently focused on developing an objective and clinically-practical method of detecting fatigue in patients with aphasia. With the development of better fatigue detection systems, we can begin to investigate effects of fatigue on treatment outcomes and develop protocols for fatigue management during therapy.


CSD 726 Neurogenic Communication Disorders I

CSD 409/609 Cognitive Neuroscience of Speech and Language

CSD 345/645 Speech Science


Northwestern University, Ph.D., Communication Sciences Disorders, 2011
Northwestern University, M.A., Speech-Langauge Pathology, 2009
University of New Mexico, B.S., Biology, 2004


Assistant Research Professor, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Department of Neurology, 2016-present

Assistant Professor, Syracuse University, Department of Communications Sciences & Disorders, 2014-present

Assistant Professor, Bowling Green State University, Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, 2012-2014

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Northwestern University, Aphasia & Neurolinguistics Research Laboratory, 2011-2012

Selected Publications

Riley, E. A. & Owora, A., Relationship between physiologically measured attention and behavioral task engagement in persons with chronic aphasia. May 2020, In : Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 63, 5, p. 1430-1445.

Riley, E. A., Owora, A., McCleary, J. & Anderson, A., Sleepiness, exertion fatigue, arousal, and vigilant attention in persons with chronic aphasia. Nov 2019, In : American journal of speech-language pathology. 28, 4, p. 1491-1508.

Wilmskoetter, J., Del Gaizo, J., Phillip, L., Behroozmand, R., Gleichgerrcht, E., Fridriksson, J., Riley, E. & Bonilha, L., Predicting naming responses based on pre-articulatory electrical activity in individuals with aphasia. Clin Neurophysiol. 2019;130(11):2153-2163. doi:10.1016/j.clinph.2019.08.011

Riley EA, Wu Y. Artificial grammar learning with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS): A pilot study. Brain Stimul. 2019;12(5):1307-1308. DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2019.07.002

Riley, E.A., Barbieri, E., Weintraub, S., Mesulam, M.M, & Thompson, C.K. (2018). Semantic typicality effects in Primary Progressive Aphasia. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias. doi: 10.1177/1533317518762443

Riley, E.A. & McFarland, D.J. (2017). EEG error prediction as a solution for combining the advantages of retrieval practice and errorless learning. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 11:140. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00140

Riley, E.A. (2016). Patient fatigue in aphasia treatment: A survey of speech-language pathologists. Communication Disorders Quarterly. doi:10.1177/1525740116656330

Riley, E.A., & Thompson, C.K. (2015). Training pseudoword reading in acquired dyslexia: A phonological complexity approach. Aphasiology, 29(2), 129-150.

Riley, E.A., Brookshire, C.E. & Kendall, D.L. (2015). Acquired alexias: Mechanisms of reading. In Raymer, A.M. & Gonzalez-Rothi, L.J. (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Aphasia and Language Disorders. New York: Oxford University Press.

Thompson, C.K., Riley, E.A., Den Ouden, D.B., Meltzer-Asscher, A., & Lukic, S. (2013). Training verb argument structure production in agrammatic aphasia: Behavioral and neural recovery patterns. Cortex, 49(9), 2358-2376.

Riley, E.A. & Kendall, D.L. (2011). The acquired disorders of reading. In Papathanassiou, Coppens, & Potagas (Eds.), Aphasia and Related Neurogenic Communication Disorders, 1st Ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.

Riley, E.A., & Thompson, C.K. (2010). Ortho-phonological cueing may be a viable method of treating anomia in Chinese for speakers with alphabetic script knowledge. Evidence-Based Communication Assessment & Intervention, 4(1), 49-53.

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


New CSD Study Uses Electrical Brain Stimulation to Help Treat Stroke Patients with Aphasia

(July 27, 2021)

CSD researchers are currently recruiting stroke patients who have experienced speech and language difficulties.

Professor Examines Link Between Sleep, Aphasia Recovery

(Sept. 28, 2016)

Professor Asks if Sleep Speeds Stroke-Related Language Disorder Recovery