About The Book

Understanding the recent science about how therapy changes the brain can empower clinicians to face the challenges of increasingly demanding medical and educational settings. However, many speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are unaware of the vast impact new neuroscience research has on clinical practice. Cognitive and Communication Interventions: Neuroscience Applications for Speech-Language Pathologists is a practical guide that informs and enables SLP’s, clinical psychologists, and other therapeutic professionals to use new research to enhance their clinical outcomes.

Although based on independent neuroscience principles and research, this unique book is designed to be a readable and scientifically sound clinical guidebook. Written with the busy clinician in mind, this professional resource uses accessible, easy-to-understand language to walk readers through the complexities of neuroscience and provide workable strategies for application.

The beginning chapters break down important concepts, such as neuroplasticity, environmental stressors, and connectomics, to create a base of understanding. The middle chapters delve into recent investigations of factors that potentially affect typical brain development, as well as disrupt connectomics. The final chapters provide neuroscience considerations for intervention, including the “What, How, and When” of therapy and other important considerations for individualizing and maximizing outcomes.

Throughout the book, clinicians will also find case studies that provide examples of the practical applications of neuroscience research and study questions to improve memory and inference.

About The Author

Martha S. Burns, PhD, has been a practicing speech-language pathologist in the Chicago area for over 40 years. She is employed in the neuroscience education industry and serves on the Faculty of Northwestern University, in the area of cognitive and communication neuroscience. Dr. Burns is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and has received honors from Northwestern University, other universities, hospitals, and professional organizations. She has authored three books and over 100 book chapters and articles. Dr. Burns consults with many school districts around the world. She presents 75–100 invited in-services, keynotes, webinars, and continuing education courses worldwide each year on neuroscience applications to education and clinical practice.

Table oF Contents

Introduction and Test Organization

Chapter 1. Neuroscience Overview and Update 
A. Introductory Neurodevelopmental and Acquired Neurocognitive Case Studies

B. How We Got Here—The Historical Perspective
a. Introduction
b. Early Studies of Brain and Language
c. Brain Science Localization Merges With Connectionism
d. The Technology Era Broadens the Scientific Landscape
e. Network Theory Advances Through Enhanced Imaging Techniques
f. Summary

C. Network Neuroscience—An Introduction
a. Size, scope and clinical relevance
b. Network Organization
c. Summary and Proposed Clinical Applications

Chapter 2. Oral, Gestural, and Written Language Networks
A. Overview of Neuroanatomical Structure: The Triune Brain
a. Lower Triune Brain Levels: Automatic Biological Functions and the “Emotional Brain”
b. The Highest Triune Brain Level: The Neocortex
c. Clinical Applications of the Triune Brain Model

B. Network Neuroscience of Language and Communication
a. Top-Down/Bottom-up Language Network Components
b. Ventral and Dorsal Stream
c. Phonology
d. Syntax
e. Semantics
f. Prosody
g. Gestural Communication
h. Pragmatics
i. Written Language
j. Summary

Chapter 3. Cognitive Neuroscience and Connectomics Applications to Neurological Disorders
A. Network Neuroscience of Cognitive Functions
a. Overview of Cognitive Functions
b. Network Neuroscience of Memory
c. Network Neuroscience of Executive Functions

B. Human Connectomics: Tying Architecture and Biological Mechanisms to Brain Disorders
a. Connectomics—Detailed Wiring Diagrams of Brain and Biological Mechanisms
b. Connectomic Features Relevant to Neurological Disorders: Hubs, Edges, Directionality, Weight, and Network Segregation/Integration
c. Chemistry: Brain Modulation

C. Summary

Chapter 4. How the Human Brain Changes: Neurogenetics, Neuroplasticity in Maturation, Recovery, and Environment
A. Introduction

B. Neurogenetics
a. Introduction
b. RNA and DNA Basics
c. Genetic Variation and Human Brain Differences
d. Epigenetics
e. Genetic Variations and Disorders of Speech, Language, and Cognition
f. Summary

C. Neuromaturation and Neuroplasticity
A. Fetal Brain Development
b. Neonatal Brain Development—Birth to 5 Years—Brain Volume Measures
c. Neonatal Brain Development—Birth to 5 Years—White Matter Measures
d. The Adolescent Brain—A Second Sensitive Period
e. Variability in Development
f. Personalized Medicine Adaptations

D. Neuroplasticity

E. Interactional Synchrony: Brain-to-Brain Functions

Chapter 5. Environmental Factors in Brain Maturation of Language and Cognitive Functions
A. Introduction

B. Socioeconomic Status (SES)
a. Introduction
b. Socioeconomic Status Effects on Brain Maturation: Structure and Functionn
c. Socioeconomic Status Effects Associated With Malnutrition
d. Interaction of Socioeconomic Status and Genetics
e. Socioeconomic Status Effects on Language, Working Memory, and Processing Speed
f. Socioeconomic Status Differences in Parent Language and Other Parent-Child Interactions
g. Other Executive Functions: Attention and Self-Regulation
h. Individual Differences
i. Socioeconomic Status Reading
j. Socioeconomic Status and Academic Outcomes

C. Stress
a. Introduction
b. From Positive to Adverse Effects of Stress
c. Educational Implications
d. Effects on Cognitive Development

D. Adverse Childhood Experiences and Toxic Substance Exposure
a. Adverse Childhood Experiences
b. Toxic Substance Exposures
c. Summary

E.  Summary and Clinical/Educational Applications

Chapter 6. Connectomics and Genetics of Neurodevelopmental Cognitive and Communication Disorders
A. Introduction

B. Autism Spectrum Disorders
a. Introduction
b. Genetics
c. Underlying Brain Mechanisms
d. Environmental Factors

C. Developmental Language Disorders
a. Introduction
b. Phonological Deficit Hypothesis
c. Cognitive Systems: Learning and Memory
d. Statistical Learning

D. Developmental Dyslexia
a. Introduction
b. Genetics
c. Underlying Brain Mechanisms
d. Perceptual and Cognitive Factors
e. Environmental Factors

E. Childhood Apraxia of Speech (Developmental Dyspraxia Affecting Speech)

Chapter 7. Connectomics and Genetics of Acquired Cognitive and Communication Disorders
A. Introduction

B. Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury— Mechanisms and Clinical Features
a. Introduction
b. Brain Mechanisms and Related Symptomatology

C. Aphasia—Status of Neuroscience Research
a. Introduction
b. Brain Mechanisms and Related Symptomatology

D. Right Hemisphere Disorder—Status of Neuroscience Research
a. Introduction
b. Brain Mechanisms and Related Symptomatology

E. Progressive Neurological Diseases (Alzheimer’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Other Dementias)
a. Introduction
b. Lewy Body Dementias
c. Alzheimer’s Dementia, MCI, and PART
d. Other Dementias
e. Summary

Chapter 8. How Therapy Changes Brains
A. Introduction and Overview of Effects of Intervention

B. The “What” of Therapy—How to Select Effective Task-Specific Activities
a. Introduction
b. Evidence-Based Practice in Neurodevelopmental Disorders – State of the Science
c. Evidence-Based Practice in Acquired Neurological Disorders – State of the Science

C. The “How” of Therapy
a. Introduction
b. How Therapy Upregulates Excitatory Neuromodulators Associated With Neuroplasticity: Dopamine, Norepinephrine, and Acetylcholine
c. Regulatory Neuromodulator of Serotonin
d. Balancing Top-Down Executive/Regulatory Intervention With Task-Specific Activities
e. Summary

D. The “When” of Therapy
a. Issues Related to Neuroplastic Periods: Early “Sensitive Period”—Birth to Five Years and the Later Sensitive Period, The Adolescent Brain
b. Issues Related to Recovery Periods Following Brain Injury
c. Intensity of Therapy—Recent Research
d. Summary

Chapter 9. Other Considerations: Maximizing Therapeutic Outcomes
A. Individualizing Therapy to the Unique Needs of Each Client or Patient

B. Maximizing Therapeutic Commitment: Promoting a Safe, Trusting Therapeutic Alliance

C. Teacher, Parent, Family, and Interprofessional Collaboration
a. Teacher Collaboration
b. Parent Collaboration
c. Family Collaboration With Acquired Neurocognitive Disorders
d. Summary

D. Behavioral Academic and Vocational Adaptations: Building Goal-Directed Behavior in Adolescents and Adults

E. Technological Adjunctive Approaches That Are Evidence Based to Increase Therapeutic Dosage

F. Summary

Appendix I. A Brief Overview of Traditional English Syntax Terminology

Appendix II. ICD-11 Language Disorders

Appendix III. Dementia Codes from the International Classification of Diseases, 11th Revision

Appendix IV. Recent Clinical Resources for Task Selection With Strong Evidence Base

Appendix V. Evidence-Based Technological Cognitive and Communication Interventions




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