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Personal profile


I came to academia after several years working as a Speech Therapist in various London hospitals. My research career started at Birkbeck College, University of London, where I obtained my PhD in 1992.

In 1996 I moved to Macquarie University, initially as a visiting Research Fellow on a Wellcome Trust Fellowship. In 1999 I took up an Australian Research Council QEII Fellowship followed by an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship (2006) and ARC Future Fellowship (2013).

My research field can be broadly characterised as "the cognitive neuropsychology of language". In other words, I investigate language impairments (both developmental, and acquired as a result of brain damage) and use these to test the adequacy of cognitive models of language comprehension and production. In addition, the use of these models can inform our understanding of the language impairments and how best to remediate them. My research focuses on acquired language impairment (aphasia and progressive aphasia), but also with some work in the field of impaired literacy (dyslexia) in children and adults.

Much of my research has focused on word production and particularly assessment and treatment of impairments of word production (anomia), however, I also have an interest in experimental investigation of word production in speakers without language impairment. I have a commitment to research into the remediation of language disorders, and collaborate with speech pathologists in this endeavour. 

I am also Macquarie University's Director for the international PhD programme: International Doctorate for Experimental Approaches to Language and Brain (IDEALAB): http://em-idealab.com/.

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Projects 2006 2022

COMPARE - Constraint Induced or Multimodal aphasia rehabilitation: An RCT of therapy for stroke related chronic aphasia

Nickels, L., Rose, M., Copland, D., Togher, L., Meinzer, M., Ong, B. & Godecke, E.


Project: Research

Appointments and Schedules

Developing better treatments for language disorders (ARC)

Nickels, L., MQRES, M. & MQRES 3 (International), M. 3.

31/12/12 → …

Project: Research


Research Output 1990 2019

Ageing with bilingualism: benefits and challenges

Nickels, L., Hameau, S., Nair, V. K. K., Barr, P. & Biedermann, B., 2019, In : Speech, Language and Hearing. 22, 1, p. 32-50 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

speech disorder

Overt language production of German past participles: investigating (ir-)regularity

Marusch, T., Jäger, L. A., Neiβ, L., Burchert, F. & Nickels, L., 2019, In : Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. 34, 3, p. 289-308 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Quality of life in primary progressive aphasia: what do we know and what can we do next?

Ruggero, L., Nickels, L. & Croot, K., 28 Jan 2019, In : Aphasiology.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

Taking action in hand: effects of gesture observation on action verb naming

Murteira, A., Sowman, P. F. & Nickels, L., 2019, In : Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. 34, 3, p. 351-364 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Action Verbs

The relationship between response consistency in picture naming and storage impairment in people with semantic variant primary progressive aphasia

van Scherpenberg, C., Fieder, N., Savage, S. & Nickels, L., Jan 2019, In : Neuropsychology. 33, 1, p. 13-34 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Primary Progressive Aphasia