Assistant Professor

Tijana Simic

Speech-Language Pathology


Rehabilitation Sciences Building
500 University Ave., Rm 1038, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 1V7
Contact Faculty Member for more information

Dr. Simic obtained her Ph.D. from University of Toronto’s Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and her Master of Health Science in University of Toronto’s Department of Speech-Language Pathology. Her dissertation investigated predictors of post-stroke aphasia recovery, with a particular focus on the role of executive control in treatment outcomes. Dr. Simic then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre de Recherche de l’Institut de Gériatrie de Montréal, affiliated with the Université de Montréal, where she worked with Dr. Simona Brambati and Dr. Karine Marcotte. During her postdoctoral fellowship, her research focused on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)-based analyses of the neural biomarkers of both spontaneous and treatment-induced language recovery following stroke.

Dr. Simic’s primary research interest lies in understanding the behavioural and neurological predictors of recovery in individuals with language deficits due to acquired neurological damage (e.g., post-stroke aphasia, primary progressive aphasia). Despite the overall efficacy of language intervention for these populations, recovery patterns can vary substantially: individuals with similar impairment profiles at baseline can show different patterns of recovery even after receiving the same treatment. Dr. Simic’s long-term research goal is to develop a “theory of therapy” which can address this knowledge gap through detailed investigations of the active elements of language therapy. Her research to date has focused on how principles of learning and neuroplasticity may be harnessed to improve treatment outcomes, as well as the role of executive control (EC) in language processing. The ultimate goal of her work is to develop individualized protocols for treatment which would enable persons with communication disorders to achieve their maximum potential for language recovery.

Recent Publications

  1. Simic, T., Laird, L., Brisson, N., Moretti, K., Theoret, J-L., Black, S.E., Eskes, G., Leonard, C. & Rochon, E. (2022). Cognitive training to enhance aphasia therapy (Co-TrEAT): A feasibility study. Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences, 3:815780. doi: 10.3389/fresc.2022.815780
  2. Simic, T., Leonard, C., Laird, L., Stewart, S. & Rochon, E. (2021). The effects of intensity on a phonological treatment for anomia in post-stroke aphasia. Journal of Communication Disorders, 93:106125.
  3. Simic, T., Chambers, C., Bitan, T., Stewart, S., Goldberg, D., Laird, L., Leonard, C., & Rochon, E. (2020). Mechanisms underlying anomia treatment outcomes. Journal of Communication Disorders, 88:106048. Doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2020.106048.
  4. Simic, T., Bitan, T., Turner, G., Chambers, C., Goldberg, D., Leonard, C. & Rochon, E. (2019). The role of executive control in post-stroke aphasia treatment. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 1-40. DOI: 10.1080/09602011.2019.1611607
  5. Bitan, T., Simic, T., Saverino, C., Jones, C., Glazer, J., Collela, B., Green, R. & Rochon E. (2018). Changes in resting state connectivity following melody-based therapy in a patient with aphasia. Neural Plasticity, vol. 2018, Article ID 6214095, 13 pages. doi:10.1155/2018/6214095.
  6. Greco, E., Simic, T., Ringash, J., Tomlinson, G., Inamoto, Y., & Martino, R. (2018). Dysphagia treatment for patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiotherapy: A meta-analysis review. International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, 101 (2), 421-444.
  7. Simic, T., Rochon, E., Greco, E., & Martino, R. (2017). Baseline executive control ability and its relationship to language therapy improvements in post-stroke aphasia: A systematic review. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 1-40.
  8. Simic, T., Leonard, C., Laird, L., Cupit, J., Höbler, F., & Rochon, E. (2016). A usability study of internet-based therapy for naming deficits in aphasia. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 25(4), 642-653. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0030

Honours & Awards

  • 2021                Justine et Yves Sergent Postdoctoral Prize for Women in Cognitive Neuroscience
  • 2021 - 2023     Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) Postdoctoral Award
  • 2020                Quebec Bio-Imaging Network (QBIN/RBIQ) Postdoctoral Award
  • 2020                CRIUGM Postdoctoral Fellowship for research in aging
  • 2020                J.A. DeSève Postdoctoral Fellowship, HSCM [declined]