Brenda Rapp 


Telephone:  (410) 516-5248
Office: 135 Krieger Hall
Lab: 131A/B Krieger Hall; (410)516-5244
Lab Manager: Jennifer Shea, Krieger Hall 131C; (410)516-5253
Office hours: By Appointment
Website: CogNeuro Lab

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Research Interests

Words....Even a single word has great power to inform or provoke us. My primary research interests lie in furthering our understanding of the cognitive processes and neural substrates that support written and spoken word production and comprehension.

At a cognitive level, this work includes examining questions such: What do we know when we know the spellings of words? To what extent are lexical phonological orthographic, semantic and syntactic processes independent from one another? If they interact, at what level of processing? And, in what manner? Most of this work involves the detailed examination of the language performance of individuals who have suffered neural injury (typically from stroke) that has affected language functions. These cognitive neuropsychological data provide a "window" into the organization and internal structure of lexical processing mechanisms. In this context, I have particular interests in written word production (spelling) and dysgraphia.

At the neural level, I am interested in understanding the neural substrates that support written language production (spelling) and comprehension (reading), as well as in understanding  the changes that support new orthographic learning in neurally intact individuals and the  recovery of written language function in cases of neural injury. This work contributes to furthering our understanding of neural plasticity and involves using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging).

I am very interested in the question of how neural data can be used to answer cognitive questions.  This research currently involves the application of multi-voxel pattern analysis techniques to fMRI data.

I also carry out research on somatosensory representation/reorganization, spatial frames of reference and the perception of second language phonology.

Publications >


050/080.203     Exploring the living Brain (Cognitive Neuroscience)
050/080.318     Practicum in Language Disorders
050.311            The Literate Mind and Brain
050.602            Topics in Cognitive Neuropsychology
050.802            Research Seminar in Cognitive Processes

Other Affiliations

Joint Appointment, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences (Johns Hopkins)
Joint Appointment, Department of Neuroscience (Johns Hopkins)
Editor-in-chief, Cognitive Neuropsychology


Ph.D., Psychology, Johns Hopkins University, 1990
M.A.., Psychology, Johns Hopkins University, 1987
B.S., Special Education, University of Maryland (College Park), 1979