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The Cognitive-Communication Rehabilitation Lab serves adults and adolescents with traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion. Our work examines functional rehabilitation to support people with brain injury returning to productivity at work or school.

Are you a person with TBI or concussion? Or a healthy adult who wants to take part in research?

Register to participate

Contact Details

Address:
566 Aderhold Hall
110 Carlton Street
Athens, GA 30602

Email: info@cogcomlab.org

Principal Investigator: Katy O'Brien

People

Katy O'Brien, PhD CCC-SLP

A speech-language pathologist, Katy O'Brien is an assistant professor at the University of Georgia. She earned her PhD from the University of Minnesota and her MA from Appalachian State University. Her clinical experience has been with adults with neurogenic disorders in adult acute care and inpatient rehabilitation settings. Current research in the Cog-Com Rehab Lab focuses on traumatic brain injury (TBI) and cognitive rehabilitation, specifically how adults with TBI think, talk, and plan for the future.

Former Lab Associates

  • Jacqueline Brown: CFY in the Teton Valley School District
  • Lauren Beck Stutzman: CFY at the Minneapolis VA Hospital
  • Kimberly Dable: CFY in a Adams 12 Five Star Schools in Colorado

Research

Memory and Metamemory

Memory and Metamemory

Memory impairments are common after brain injury, and can be a residual effect of concussion. Cognitive rehabilitation often trains people with memory problems to use strategies to manage their recall, but selecting appropriate strategies and using them at the right time requires metamemory monitoring, or an understanding of your own memory's strengths and weaknesses. Our research focuses on interventions that develop this metacognitive awareness following brain injury and concussion, specifically around remembering to do things in the future and plan for future events.

Returning to Learn after TBI or Concussion

Returning to Learn after TBI or Concussion

Between 16 and 28% of college students report a history of traumatic brain injury or concussion. Although most with mild injuries recover within 90 days, this still means many students are returning to the classroom with lingering cognitive and physical effects. Research in our lab is working to design Return to Learn protocols and describe student challenges and successes at both secondary and post-secondary levels.

Get Involved

Narrative Research Project

Currently, the Cognitive-Communication Rehabilitation Lab at the University of Georgia is seeking healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 35 for a research study looking at how people talk about their memory. We are looking for adults who do not have a history of documented head injury (like a concussion) or other neurological injury (like a stroke). You need to be able to speak English fluently and have normal vision and hearing (or corrected to normal, like glasses).

There is no direct benefit to you by taking part in this study. Instead, we hope to find out more about how language and remembering interact. This research project will also be used for us to design future work to support individuals who have had a brain injury or concussion. The study will take about an hour to complete, and involves us asking you some questions about things you remember and taking a few short tests. There are no risks to your health associated with this study, although you could become bored or frustrated. Participants will be compensated $10 for their time.

If you would like to participate, click on the screening survey button below. The survey asks a few questions about you to determine if you are eligible, and requests your contact information so we can get you scheduled. All research data will be collected at UGA. The lead investigator on this research study is Katy O'Brien, an assistant professor in the department of communication sciences and special education. You may contact the principal investigator or email the lab with any questions about this study.

Take the survey

Participant Registry

Are you a person with TBI or concussion?
Are you a healthy adult who wants to take part in research?

The Cognitive-Communication Rehab Lab at the University of Georgia maintains a participant registry for future research. If you are a healthy adult, or if you are an adult who has had a brain injury or concussion, sign up here to be notified of future studies.

The survey takes about 5 minutes to complete. It asks for your name and contact information and if you've ever had a brain injury or concussion. By submitting the survey, we can let you know of upcoming research projects that might be of interest to you. If you'd prefer, we also have a copy of the survey you can download and mail in too.

Completing the survey does not enroll you in a research study, and you will not be compensated for participating in the registry. Instead, this is a chance for you to let us know that you'd like to know when we have studies happening in the lab.

Register online Download the PDF

Already registered and want to be removed from the list? Email us or send us a letter at the address above and we'll remove you from our contacts.

Publications & Presentations

Publications

  • Finestack, L., O'Brien, K. H., Hyppa-Martin, J., & Lyrek, K. (in press). The evaluation of a personal narrative language intervention for school-age children with Down syndrome. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
  • O'Brien, K. H. (in press). Coaching self-learning and self-management. In M. R. T. Kennedy (Ed.), Coaching post-secondary students with executive function deficits. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Krause, M. O., Byom, L., Meulenbroek, P., Richards, S., & O'Brien, K. H. (2015). Supporting the literacy skills of adolescents and young adults with traumatic brain injury. Seminars in Speech and Language. 36(01), 60–73. doi:10.1055/s-0034-1396447
  • Kennedy, M. R., Krause, M. O., & O'Brien, K. H. (2014). Psychometric properties of the College Survey for Students with Brain Injury: Individuals with and without traumatic brain injury. Brain Injury, 28(13-14), 1748-1757. doi:10.3109/02699052.2014.955883
  • O'Brien, K. H., & Krause, M. O. (2014). Fundamentally innovative: The continuing contributions of Mark Ylvisaker. Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, 24(1), 10-17.
  • Kennedy, M. R., O'Brien, K. H., & Krause, M. O. (2012). Bridging person- centered outcomes and therapeutic processes for college students with traumatic brain injury. Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, 22 (4), 143–151.
  • Clark, H. M., O'Brien, K., Calleja, A., & Newcomb, S. (2009). Effects of directional exercise on lingual strength. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 52, 1034-1047. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0062)

Presentations (2014-present)

  • O'Brien, K. H., & Kennedy, M. R. T. (2016, November). Remembering to Remember: Metamemory Judgments of Prospective Memory after Traumatic Brain Injury. Lecture accepted to the American Speech Language Hearing Association Annual Convention, Philadelphia, PA.
  • O'Brien, K. H., Schellinger, S. K., Kennedy, M. R. T. (2015, November). Development of a coding schema of self-regulated learning in students with TBI. Lecture presented at the American Speech Language Hearing Association Annual Convention, Denver, CO.
  • O'Brien, K. H., & Kennedy, M. R. T. (2014, November). Microstructure analyses of past and future narratives of adults with traumatic brain injuries. Poster presented at the American Speech Language Hearing Association Annual Convention, Orlando, FL.
  • Schellinger, S., & O'Brien, K. H. (2014, September). Acquired brain injury: Brain function and mechanics of injury. Lecture presented to the Brain Injury Alliance of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
  • O'Brien, K. H. (2014, May). _Getting back to what__'__s important to me: Returning to college after traumatic brain injury._ Lecture presented at the Western Michigan Brain Injury Network Symposium, Grand Rapids, MI.
  • O'Brien, K. H. (2014, March). After the crash: Living and succeeding with TBI. Panel moderator for University of Minnesota chapter of National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, Minneapolis, MN.
  • O'Brien, K. H., & Kennedy, M. R. T. (2014, March). A case study of participatory design that supports metacognition after TBI: Collaborating with low and high technology. Poster presented at the International Brain Injury Association World Congress, San Francisco, CA.
  • Schellinger, S., & O'Brien, K. H. (2014, September). Acquired brain injury: Brain function and mechanics of injury. Lecture presented to the Brain Injury Alliance of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

Presentations (2007-2013)

  • O'Brien, K. H., Kennedy, M. R. T., Schellinger, S. K. (2013, November). Tracking self-regulation goals using Goal-Attainment Scaling for individuals with traumatic brain injuries. Lecture presented at the American Speech Language Hearing Association Annual Convention, Chicago, IL.
  • Yorkston, K. Kennedy, M., Baylor, C., Burns, M., & O'Brien, K. H. (2013, November). Choosing a doctoral program: Making transitions from clinician to academician. Symposium presented at the American Speech Language Hearing Association Annual Convention, Chicago, IL.
  • O'Brien, K. H., Finestack, L. H., Hyppa Martin, J., & Andrews, K. (2013, November). Microstructure outcomes of a personal narrative language intervention for adolescents with Down syndrome. Poster presented at the American Speech Language Hearing Association Annual Convention, Chicago, IL.
  • O'Brien, K. H., Hyppa Martin, J., Andrews, K., & Finestack, L. H. (2013, March). The development and evaluation of a personal narrative language intervention for adolescents with Down Syndrome. Poster presented at the Gatlinburg Conference on Developmental Disabilities in San Antonio, TX.
  • Kennedy, M. R. T., & O'Brien, K. H. (2013, April). Accessing and providing coaching support to post-secondary students after TBI. Lecture presented at the Minnesota Speech Language Hearing Association Annual Spring Convention, Minnetonka, MN.
  • Kennedy, M. R., Krause, M. O., **O'Brien, **K. H., Yu, J. (2011, November). Coaching college students with brain injury: A dynamic intervention approach. Symposium presented at the American Speech Language Hearing Association Annual Convention, San Diego, CA.
  • Westervelt, T., **O'Brien, **K. H. (2010, April). Objective evaluations of swallowing: Indications and procedures. Lecture presented at Nursing Rounds, Durham Regional Hospital, Durham, NC.
  • Clark, H. M., Soloman, N., Newcomb, S., **O'Brien, **K. H., Calleja, A. (2007, November). Relationships among oro-facial strength measures. Lecture presented at the American Speech Language Hearing Association Annual Convention, Boston, MA.

Student Volunteers

If you are a UGA student interested in getting involved with the lab, please complete our survey so we can find out more about you. A lab member will follow up with you to discuss the availability of positions.

Take the volunteer survey

Prospective Students

If you are a graduate student or prospective graduate student interested in completing a thesis or PhD with the Cog-Com Rehab Lab, please email the lab. Your interests should be specific to TBI or concussion, although research directions and questions can be developed as part of your graduate experience.

Read more about the department guidelines for the master's thesis as well as the doctoral program.