Stephanie Ries Cornou, Ph.D.

Stephanie Ries Cornou, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests

Most speakers can choose words rather effortlessly at a rate of about 3 words per second. However, people with anomia have severe problems with choosing words. Anomia is observed in almost all people with aphasia as well as in neurodegenerative diseases and normal aging. Despite the importance of our ability to choose words and the immense personal and societal cost caused by its disruption, its neural basis and neuroplasticity are poorly understood. My research seeks to shed light on how our brains allow us to choose words as we speak. In particular, I am interested in understanding how control processes are engaged in word selection in healthy speakers and how cognitive control processes are engaged in compensatory processes for language recovery in populations with brain disorders such as stroke, epilepsy, and brain tumors. To this aim, I am using behavioral modeling, and different electrophysiology and brain imaging methods (surface and intracranial electroencephalography, electromyography, diffusion imaging, and awake brain stimulation).

I am now an Assistant Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at San Diego State University and the director of the Laboratory for the Brain Dynamics of Language. Before that, I did my PhD in Marseille with Dr. Alario and Dr. Burle from 2006 to 2010, and then my post-doc from 2011 to 2017 in the San Francisco bay area with Dr. Knight at UC Berkeley and Dr. Dronkers at the VA Martinez. I remain in contact with all my wonderful mentors with whom I still collaborate.


  • Ries, S., Dhillon, R., Clarke, A., King-Stephens, D., Laxer, K. D., Weber, P. B., Kuperman, R. A., Auguste, K. I., Brunner, P., Schalk, G., Lin, J. J., Parvizi, J., Crone, N., Dronkers, N. F., and Knight, R. T. (2017). Spatio-temporal dynamics of word retrieval in speech production revealed by cortical high frequency band activity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1620669114

  • Anders, R.*, Ries, S.*, van Maanen L., Alario, F.-X. (2017). Lesions to the Left Lateral Prefrontal Cortex Impair Decision Threshold Adjustment for Lexical Selection. Cognitive Neuropsychology. doi: 10.1080/02643294.2017.1282447 *co first authorship

  • Ries, S., Dronkers, N., and Knight, R.T. (2016). Choosing words: left hemisphere, right hemisphere, or both? Perspective on the lateralization of word retrieval. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12993.

  • Madec, S., Le Goff, K., Ries, S., Legou, T., Rousselet, G., Courrieu, P., Alario, F.-X., Grainger, J., and Rey, A. (2016). The time-course of visuo-phonological interactions in letter perception. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience. PMID: 26742753

  • Piai, V., Ries, S., & Swick, D. (2016). Lesions to lateral prefrontal cortex impair lexical interference control in word production. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00721

  • Ries, S. (2015). Serial versus parallel neurobiological processes in language production: Comment on Munding, Dubarry, and Alario, 2015. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience. doi:10.1080/23273798.2015.1117644

  • Anders, R., Ries, S., van Maanen L., Alario, F.-X. (2015). Evidence accumulation as a model for lexical selection. Cognitive Psychology, 82:57-73. doi: 10.1016/j.cogpsych.2015.07.002.

  • Ries, S., Karzmark, C., Navarrete, E., Dronkers, N., and Knight, R.T. (2015). Specifying the role of the left prefrontal cortex in word selection. Brain and Language, 149:135-47. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2015.07.007.

  • Ries, S., Fraser, D., McMahon, K.L., and de Zubicaray, G.I. (2015). Early and late electrophysiological effects of distractor frequency in picture naming: Reconciling input and output accounts. Journal of Cogntive Neuroscience. PMID: 26042502

  • Piai, V., Ries, S., and Knight, R.T. (2015). The electrophysiology of language production: what could be improved. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01560

  • Van der Linden, L., Ries, S., Legou, T., Burle, B., Malfait, N. and Alario, A. (2014). A comparison of two procedures for verbal response time fractionation. Frontiers in Psychology, section Language Sciences, 5: 1213. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01213

  • Ries, S., Greenhouse I., Dronkers, N., Haaland, K., and Knight, R. T. (2014). Double dissociation of the roles of the left and right prefrontal cortices in anticipatory regulation of action. Neuropsychologia, 63C: 215-225. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.08.026.

  • Llorens, A., Trebuchon, A., Ries, S., Alario, F.-X., and Liegeois-Chauvel, C. (2014). How familiarization and repetition modulate the picture naming network. Brain and Language, 133: 47-58. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2014.03.010

  • Ries, S., Xie, K., Haaland, K., Dronkers, N., and Knight, R. T. (2013). Role of the lateral prefrontal cortex in speech monitoring. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00703

  • Kaltwasser, K., Ries, S., Sommer, W., Knight, R. T., Willems, R.M. (2013). Independence of valence and reward in emotional word processing: Electrophysiological evidence. Frontiers in Psychology, 4:168. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00168.

  • Ries, S., Janssen, N., Burle, B., and Alario, F.-X. (2013). Response-locked brain dynamics of word production. Plos One, 8(3): e58197. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058197

  • Ries, S., Legou, T., Burle, B., Alario, A. and Malfait, N. (2012). Why does picture naming take longer than word reading? The contribution of articulatory processes. Psychonomics Bulletin and Review, DOI 10.3758/s13423-012-0287-x. See also corrigendum here: doi: 10.3758/s13423-014-0668-4

  • Ries, S., Janssen, N., Dufau, S., Alario, F.-X., Burle, B. (2011). General purpose monitoring during speech production. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 6, 1419-1436.

  • De Vos, M., Ries, S., Vanderperren, K., Vanrumste, B., Alario, F.-X., Van Huffel, S., and Burle, B. (2010). Removal of muscle artifacts from EEG recordings of spoken language production. Neuroinformatics, 8, 135-150.