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Natalie Covington

PhD Candidate

Communication & Memory Lab, Principal Investigator: Dr. Melissa Duff

Hometown: Omaha, NE


  • BA, Speech-Language Pathology and French, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Lincoln, NE)
  • MA, Speech-Language Pathology, University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)

Hobbies and interests:

Outside of the lab, I love cooking, swimming, and teaching my cat new tricks.

Research description:

My research interests lie broadly in the neurobiology of language, with a particular interest in relationships between language and memory systems. My pre-dissertation work has focused on contributions of the hippocampal-dependent declarative memory system to language and language-learning processes. The goal of my dissertation project is to develop memory and learning phenotypes to predict treatment outcome following traumatic brain injury (TBI). I plan to assess the memory and learning abilities of a large sample of individuals with TBI with the initial goal of clustering these individuals based upon learning and memory profiles. My long-term goal is to use these memory phenotypes to predict response to treatment, as well as monitor whether an individual’s memory and learning phenotype changes over time (e.g. from the acute to chronic stage of recovery).  Finally, I am interested in the possible range of interventions that might bolster this change over time.


  • Covington, N.V., & Duff, M.C. (2018). Amnesia and the multiple memory systems of the brain. Frontiers for Young Minds6(45).
  • Ryskin, R., Qi, Z., Covington, N.V., Duff, M., & Brown-Schmidt, S. (2018). Knowledge and learning of verb biases in amnesia. Brain and Language,180, 62-83.
  • Covington, N.V., Brown-Schmidt, S. & Duff, M. (2018). The necessity of the hippocampus for statistical learning. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 30(5), 680-697.
  • Covington, N.V. & Duff, M. (2016). Expanding the language network: Direct contributions from the hippocampus. Trends in Cognitive Sciences20(12), 869-870.
  • Covington, N., & Duff, M. (2016) Intact reported speech use in traumatic brain injury: How to think about ‘intact’ performance in the context of heterogeneity. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, 7(1), 79-100.
  • Kurczek, J., Vanderveen, N., Duff, M. (2014) Multiple Memory Systems and Their Support of Language. Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders. 24(2), 31-73.