Steven L. Small, Ph.D., M.D., Professor of Neurology, is Dean of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and the Aage and Margareta Møller Distinguished Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Small is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Irvine, where he was the Chair of the Department of Neurology from 2010-2017, and at The University of Chicago, where he founded the first high-field MRI research center in Chicago in 1999.
As a scientist, Dr. Small has been a pioneer in understanding the anatomy and physiology of the human brain and its relation to function by direct investigation of human subjects, particularly related to language comprehension and production, and with an emphasis on distributed brain networks. This work has encompassed the study of normal adults and children, adults with neurological disease (especially stroke), and children with developmental impairments.
Dr. Small's translational neurology research focuses on language recovery after stroke in both adults and children. Neurobiologically plausible models of human brain function are typically based on detailed animal models. For human speech and language, the cortical dorsal-ventral network architecture associated with the extended auditory system of nonhuman primates represents a strong model. A postero-dorsal network connects the auditory cortex to the posterior and dorsal part of inferior frontal cortex (IFC) (Brodmann area [BA] 44) via posterior superior temporal (pST) cortex, inferior parietal lobule (IPL), and premotor cortex (PMC), whereas an antero-ventral network traverses anterior superior temporal cortex (aST) to terminate in more anterior and ventral parts of the inferior frontal gyrus (BA 45). Recent findings suggest that language recovery from stroke depends on integration and segregation of these network communities that have been evolutionarily co-opted for language, and that focusing language therapy on these biological networks might have long term advantages. This work has elaborated network-level translational neurology of stroke recovery by way of investigation of imitation-based treatment of aphasia targeting the dorsal language network.
Dr. Small is the founder of both the Society for the Neurobiology of Language and the MIT Press open access journal, Neurobiology of Language.
As Dean of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Dr. Small aims to continue its upward trajectory by expanding and broadening research and education in neuroscience, psychology, and speech and hearing sciences, building partnerships with other educational, industrial, and philanthropic institutions in Dallas, particularly the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and advancing the stature of the premier Carnegie Tier 1 research institution in Dallas-Fort Worth, the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States.
- Language Disorders after Stroke (Aphasia)
- Neurobiology of Language
- Sports-Related Head Impacts
- The Epidemiology of Sports-Related Head Injury and Concussion in Water Polo.
- Blumenfeld RS, Winsell JC, Hicks JW, Small SL, Front Neurol 2016 7 98
- Structural correlates of spoken language abilities: A surface-based region-of interest morphometry study.
- Roehrich-Gascon D, Small SL, Tremblay P, Brain Lang 2015 Oct 149 46-54
- Response to Skeide and Friederici: the myth of the uniquely human 'direct' dorsal pathway.
- Bornkessel-Schlesewsky I, Schlesewsky M, Small SL, Rauschecker JP, Trends Cogn. Sci. (Regul. Ed.) 2015 Sep 19 9 484-5
- Computational modeling of resting-state activity demonstrates markers of normalcy in children with prenatal or perinatal stroke.
- Adhikari MH, Raja Beharelle A, Griffa A, Hagmann P, Solodkin A, McIntosh AR, Small SL, Deco G, J. Neurosci. 2015 Jun 35 23 8914-24
- New evidence about language and cognitive development based on a longitudinal study: hypotheses for intervention.
- Goldin-Meadow S, Levine SC, Hedges LV, Huttenlocher J, Raudenbush SW, Small SL, Am Psychol 2014 Sep 69 6 588-99
- Implementation is crucial but must be neurobiologically grounded. Comment on "Toward a computational framework for cognitive biology: unifying approaches from cognitive neuroscience and comparative cognition" by W. Tecumseh Fitch.
- Bornkessel-Schlesewsky I, Schlesewsky M, Small SL, Phys Life Rev 2014 Sep 11 3 365-6
- Cross-linguistic variation in the neurophysiological response to semantic processing: evidence from anomalies at the borderline of awareness.
- Tune S, Schlesewsky M, Small SL, Sanford AJ, Bohan J, Sassenhagen J, Bornkessel-Schlesewsky I, Neuropsychologia 2014 Apr 56 147-66
- Frontal and temporal contributions to understanding the iconic co-speech gestures that accompany speech.
- Dick AS, Mok EH, Raja Beharelle A, Goldin-Meadow S, Small SL, Hum Brain Mapp 2014 Mar 35 3 900-17
- Plastic changes following imitation-based speech and language therapy for aphasia: a high-density sleep EEG study.
- Sarasso S, Määttä S, Ferrarelli F, Poryazova R, Tononi G, Small SL, Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2014 Feb 28 2 129-38
- Prevention of post-stroke generalized anxiety disorder, using escitalopram or problem-solving therapy.
- Mikami K, Jorge RE, Moser DJ, Arndt S, Jang M, Solodkin A, Small SL, Fonzetti P, Hegel MT, Robinson RG, J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 2014 26 4 323-8
Neurobiology of Language
Gregory Hickok and Steven L. Small (2015). Netherlands, Elsevier Science
Honors & Awards
- Aage and Margareta Møller Distinguished Professor
Endowed Chair, University of Texas at Dallas (2019)
- Founding Editor-in-Chief
Neurobiology of Language (MIT Press) (2019)
- Top Doctors
Orange County, California (2019)
- Distinguished Career Award
Society for the Neurobiology of Language (2018)
- Scientific Program Advisory Committee (SPAC)
American Neurological Association (2017-2020)
Association of University Professors of Neurology (AUPN) (2015-2021)
- Theodore von Kármán Fellow
RWTH Aachen University (Germany) (2014)
- Stanley van den Noort Professor
Endowed Chair, University of California, Irvine (2010-2019)
Brain and Language (Elsevier) (2005-2019)
- University of California, Irvine (2010-2017)
- Society for the Neurobiology of Language (2009)
- American Neurological Association (1999)
- University of Chicago (1999-2010)
- Society for Neuroscience (1991)
- American Academy of Neurology (1990)