headshot photo of Dr. Shannon Sheppard

Dr. Shannon Sheppard

Assistant Professor
Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences; Communication Sciences and Disorders
Office Location: Building 9401, Rinker Campus 290C
Phone: 714-516-4516
Chapman University, Bachelor of Arts
University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University, Ph.D.


Dr. Shannon M. Sheppard is an Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at Chapman University. Dr. Sheppard is the Director of the Cognition Rehabilitation And Neuroscience In Atypical Language Lab (CRANIAL LAB).

She received her PhD in Language & Communicative Disorders from the Joint Doctoral Program at University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University. Her doctoral research used eye-tracking and event-related brain potentials to illuminate the specific linguistic and cognitive processes underlying sentence comprehension, and to understand how impaired processes contribute to sentence comprehension impairments in chronic stroke. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Dr. Argye Hillis’s Stroke Cognitive Outcomes and REcovery (SCORE) Lab. The overarching aim of Dr. Sheppard’s research is to gain an understanding of brain-language relationships to better understand how the brain is organized for language in healthy populations, and to understand the underlying language and cognitive deficits in patients who have had strokes or neurodegenerative diseases. Typical and impaired language processing is investigated using several methods including, electroencephalography (EEG) and event-related potentials (ERPs), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Currently Dr. Sheppard is working to develop treatments using traditional language therapy paired with brain stimulation techniques to improve and maintain language functioning in stroke-based aphasia and Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). PPA is a syndrome resulting from neurodegenerative diseases that leads to the progressive loss of language function. She also researches behavioral and neurological changes resulting from right hemisphere strokes or neurodegenerative diseases with a focus on emotional prosody deficits. One goal of her research is to inform the development of novel evidence-based treatments designed to best enhance language outcomes in adults experiencing neurogenic language and communication disorders.

Recently Dr. Sheppard has embarked on research to investigate reading comprehension in healthy populations, and in individuals with language impairments. She aims to understand how we can improve reading comprehension, even in strong readers, by manipulating visual features of typography. This work will also inform treatment research in individuals with reading comprehension impairments.

Recent Publications

Sheppard, S.M., Keator, L.M., Breining, B.L., Wright, A.E., Saxena, S., Tippett, D.C., & Hillis, A.E. (In Press). Right hemisphere ventral stream for emotional prosody identification: Evidence from acute stroke. Neurology.

Sheppard, S.M., Love, T., Midgley, K., Shapiro, L., & Holcomb, P. (2019). Using prosody during sentence processing in aphasia: Evidence from temporal neural dynamics. Neuropsychologia, 134, 107197.

Kim, K., Adams, L., Keator, L. M., Sheppard, S. M., Breining, B. L., Rorden, C., ... & Hickok, G. (2019). Neural processing critical for distinguishing between speech sounds. Brain and language, 197, 104677.

Tippett, D.C., Breining, B., Goldberg, E., Meier, E., Sheppard, S.M., Sherry, E., ... & Hillis, A.E. (2019). Visuomotor figure construction and visual figure delayed recall and recognition in primary progressive aphasia. Aphasiology, 1-15.

Keator, L. M., Wright, A. E., Saxena, S., Kim, K., Demsky, C., Sebastian, R., Sheppard,S.M., ... & Tippett, D. C. (2019). Distinguishing logopenic from semantic & nonfluent variant primary progressive aphasia: Patterns of linguistic and behavioral correlations. Neurocase, 25(3-4), 98-105.

Odolil, A., Wright, A.E., Keator, L.M., Sheppard, S.M., Breining, B., Tippett, D.C., & Hillis, A.E. (2019). Leukoaraiosis severity predicts rate of decline in primary progressive aphasia. Aphasiology, 1-11.

Wright, A., Saxena, S., Sheppard, S.M., & Hillis, A.E. (2018). Selective impairments in components of affective prosody in neurologically impaired individuals. Brain and Cognition, 124, 29-36.

Sheppard, S.M., Midgley, K.J., Love, T., Shapiro, L.P., & Holcomb, P.J. (2018). Electrophysiological evidence for the interaction of prosody and thematic fit during sentence comprehension. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(5), 547-562.

Patel, S., Oishi, K., Wright, A., Sutherland-Foggio, H., Saxena, S., Sheppard, S.M., & Hillis, A.E. (2018). Right hemisphere regions critical for expression of emotion through prosody. Frontiers in Neurology, 9, 224.

Sheppard, S.M., Love, T., Midgley, K.J., Holcomb, P.J., & Shapiro, L.P. (2017). Electrophysiology of prosodic and lexical-semantic processing during sentence comprehension in aphasia. Neuropsychologia, 107, 9-24.

Sheppard, S.M., Walenski, M., Love, T., & Shapiro, L.P. (2015). The auditory comprehension of wh-questions in aphasia: Support for the intervener hypothesis. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 58(3), 781-797.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications