Jennifer E. Mack

UMass Amherst Assistant Professor of Communication Disorders Jennifer Mack
Assistant Professor
Communication Disorders Building, Room #316


B.A., Rice University, 2004; M.A., Yale University, 2006; Ph.D., Yale University, 2010; Postdoctoral Fellowships, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Northwestern University

Area(s) of Specialization: 

Adult language disorders, neural basis of language, sentence comprehension and production, eye-tracking, MRI

Research Description: 

My research focuses on the cognitive and neural basis of adult language impairments caused by stroke and neurodegenerative disease (e.g., primary progressive aphasia). I am particularly interested in how sentences are comprehended and produced in typical adult language and in adults with language disorders. When listening to sentences, people must combine individual words into sentence structures that reflect the speaker’s intended meaning. When speaking, people must plan and produce a sequence of words that reflects what they want to say. Understanding these processes provides the basis for developing and testing approaches to language treatment for aphasia. For example, my colleagues and I use eye-tracking to examine how language treatment changes the processes supporting language production and comprehension. In addition, my current research uses simultaneous eye-tracking and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in order to relate real-time language processing to its neural substrates.

Publication List: 

PubMed Search Link

Key Publications: 

Mack, J. E., & Thompson, C. K. (2017). Recovery of online sentence processing in aphasia: Eye movement changes resulting from Treatment of Underlying Forms. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 1299-1315.

Mack, J. E., Nerantzini, M., & Thompson, C. K. (2017). Recovery of sentence production processes following language treatment in aphasia: Evidence from eyetracking. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11, article 101.

Mack, J. E., Chandler, S. D., Meltzer-Asscher, A., Rogalski, E., Weintraub, S., Mesulam, M. M., & Thompson, C. K. (2015). What do pauses reveal about the nature of word retrieval deficits in PPA? Neuropsychologia, 77, 211-222.

Meltzer-Asscher, A., Mack, J. E., Barbieri, E., & Thompson, C. K. (2015). How the brain processes argument structure complexity: Evidence from fMRI. Brain and Language, 142, 65-75.

Mack, J. E., Ji, W., & Thompson, C. K. (2013). Effects of verb meaning on lexical integration in agrammatic aphasia: Evidence from eyetracking. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 26, 619-636.