Friday, October 23, 2009

You study...what?

When people ask what I do/study -- even people I know well -- I'm a little stumped as to what to say. If I give them the short-n-sweet, they respond with a glazed over look. If I give them the long-and-longer,'s pretty much the same look. Now that I've had a year or so of practice, here's how I've boiled it down: start with one word, and if they want more, go to a phrase, then a sentence, then a paragraph. For example: "Rebecca, what is it that you study again?"

Neurological disorders impact on language.
Aphasia, which is a disorder which often follows a stroke and impacts language processing.
Aphasia. You see, after a stroke, some people have one or more lesions in their brain which impair their ability to understand and/or produce language. While their speech musculature might be completely fine, they just can't connect concepts with words to a greater or lesser degree.
(And if they really want the whole story -- I've given this answer maybe once -- add to the above:) More recently, some people believe that aphasia co-occurs with impairments in attention and working memory. My research looks at how attention and working memory might play a larger role in word finding difficulties, the primary characteristic of aphasia, than we think.

Are you still with me? No? Oh well.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Getting closer

Just a moment to post. House purchase appears to be moving forward, despite sellers' legal hurdles. Had inspection today:

Inspector: "You found something really special here."
Ray: "Yeah, my wife loves old houses."
Inspector: "Well buddy, you hit the jackpot."

Stay tuned. Some day I will get back to regular blogging.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy thoughts

The house we're trying to buy may slip away due to bankrupt agents without integrity and large financial institutions without a soul.

Expecting the best, preparing for the worst, and meanwhile working on thinking happy thoughts.