Nadine Martin, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Temple University. She received a B.A. from Hofstra University in 1974 and a M.Ed degree in Speech and Language Pathology from Northeastern University in 1975. She worked as a research assistant for Dr. Eleanor M. Saffran at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Neurology at Temple University in 1982 and then completed her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology at Temple University in 1987. She became an Assistant Professor of Neurology in 1991 and Associate Professor of Neurology at Temple University School of Medicine in 1997. She joined the faculty of Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2003. Dr. Martin currently serves as the Director of the Eleanor M. Saffran Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, named for her mentor.
Dr. Martin’s research has addressed questions about the architecture of lexical retrieval processes and their relation to verbal STM processes. Through the study of speech errors of normal and aphasic populations, she obtained empirical evidence and corroborating data from computational modeling studies to support a model of lexical retrieval that assumes interaction of semantic and phonological processes over the time course of lexical retrieval. Within these domains, she conducts both theoretical and treatment-oriented investigations.
An important focus of Dr. Martin’s research is the relationship between word processing and short-term memory deficits in individuals with aphasia. This relationship suggests a common mechanism underlying these two impairments in aphasia: impaired ability to maintain activation of semantic and phonological representations of words. Depending on the severity of this activation maintenance deficit, it will result in a verbal short-term memory impairment and aphasia (more severe cases) or verbal short-term memory without aphasia. This work, carried out in collaboration with the late Dr. Eleanor Saffran (Temple University) and Drs. Gary Dell (University of Illinois) and Myrna Schwartz, has led to several new lines of research including the development of a computationally-instantiated cognitive model of word processing and short-term memory and studies of the effects of language impairment on learning (collaborators: Prahlad Gupta (University of Iowa), Gary Dell (University of Illinois) and Myrna Schwartz (Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute).
Her clinical research includes studies that apply interactive activation models of word processing and verbal short-term memory to the development of treatment protocols for aphasia. In collaboration with Matti Laine and Kati Renvall (Abo Akademi University, Finland) and Ruth Fink (Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute), she has investigated effects of massed priming in combination with semantic and phonological context to improve word retrieval in anomia. A critical finding from this research is that immediate interfering effects on naming attributed to massed priming of words lead to a short-term facilitation of word retrieval.
Additionally, Dr. Martin has studied the use of syntactic (or structural) priming to improve production of sentences in aphasia. She is currently extending the structural priming paradigm to improvement of sentence comprehension and conversational speech of people with aphasia. Collaborators on projects in this area include the late Eleanor M. Saffran as well as Michelene Kaliniyak-Fliszar and Francine Kohen (Temple University) and Dr. Anna Benetello (University of Milan)
A project that is currently supported by a grant from NIDCD is a treatment for word processing and verbal short-term memory impairments in aphasia. This
project also includes validation of a test battery developed in Dr. Martin’s lab, the Temple Assessment of Language and Verbal Short-term Memory in Aphasia. This test measures word processing
ability under several conditions of increased memory load. Development of this test was motivated by two considerations: (1) language processing naturally engages short-term memory processes and (2) the hypothesis that aphasia is
actually an impairment in the ability to maintain activation of word representations. Portions of this test have been adapted to Spanish, Finnish and Italian.
Collaborators on this project include Michelene Kalinyak-Fliszar, Samantha Rosenberg, Francine Kohen and Laura McCarthy (Temple University). This project also includes a study of the neural substrates of semantic and phonological short-term memory, using voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping. A co-investigator on this project is Dr. H. Branch Coslett, University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Martin also recently completed the first steps of a project supported by an R21 grant from NIDCD that aims to promote functional communication in individuals with aphasia using a virtual clinician as a conversation partner. Outcomes from this study demonstrate that individuals with aphasia produce as much or more language with a virtual clinician compared to a human clinician. This finding is important, as it indicates the value in developing virtual technology as one means of promoting better functional communication skills. Collaborators on this project include Drs. Emily Keshner and Justin Shi (Temple University) and ,Alex Rudnicky (Carnegie – Mellon University).
A related interest of Dr. Martin’s is the status of verbal learning abilities in aphasia. She has pursued this interest in several studiesinvolving collaboration with Matti Laine (Åbo Akademi University Turku, Finland) and Antoni Rodriguez-Fornells (Barcelona, Spain). This group has recently completed a study showing that some, but not all, individuals with aphasia can learn novel word forms through a statistical learning paradigm. This study compliments a number of studies that Dr. Martin has collaborated on with Drs. Matti Laine and Leena Tuomiranta (Turku, Finland) , Prahlad Gupta, (University of Iowa), Gary Dell (University of Illinois) and Myrna Schwartz (Moss Rehabilitation Research Laboratory). Investigations of new word learning ability in aphasia have important implications for diagnosis of aphasia and also its remediation.
Dr. Martin teaches courses in Neuroscience, Foundations and Management of Adult Language Disorders and a course on Language and the Brain. She has contributed service to her profession in many capacities, including reviewing papers and grants, organizing professional meetings, mentoring students and individuals at early stages of their academic career. She established in the Eleanor M. Saffran Cognitive Neuroscience Conference 2006 and this conference has recently received support from National Institutes of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Dr. Martin’s research has been supported continuously from grants from NIH and the McDonnell Foundation since 1992.
In May, 2014, Dr. Martin was awarded an honorary doctorate from Åbo Akademi University in Turku Finland. This doctorate was in recognition of her long-standing (over 20 years) collaboration with Dr. Matti Laine on numerous research projects on theoretical and clinical aspects of language processing and aphasia.