Clinical Neuroscience for Communication Disorders: Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology

First Edition

Margaret Lehman Blake, Jerry K. Hoepner

Details: 340 pages, Full Color, Hardcover, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-365-4

© 2023 | Available

For Instructors

Request Exam Copy


Add to Cart

Clinical Neuroscience for Communication Disorders: Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology offers a comprehensive and easy-to-understand introduction to neuroscience for undergraduates and beginning graduate students in the field of communication disorders.

Packed with features to aid student understanding, this textbook introduces the neurologic underpinnings of systems involved in communication (speech, language, cognition, and hearing) and swallowing, from the nervous system to the anatomy of the head and neck. A highly readable writing style makes abstract and complex material accessible to students and provides just the right amount of information to challenge yet not overwhelm students.

What sets this book apart is the extensive infusion of clinical application. Each chapter begins by tying the content to the everyday clinical applications for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and related professionals and includes clinical cases to illustrate neural functions. In addition to coverage of the main systems, this text contains chapters devoted to neuroplasticity, communication, and cognition to move beyond basic anatomy to the key principles of contemporary neuroscience and application of the concepts discussed. Additionally, explicit connections are drawn between cranial nerves, the oral mechanism examination, and clinical swallowing assessment. The clinical cases cover a variety of both pediatric and adult scenarios designed to highlight the interconnectedness of neural systems and the complexity of neurologically-based communication disorders. The cases span the breadth of clinical practice—developmental and acquired disorders, pediatric and adult cases, and disorders of speech, language, cognition, and hearing—and are cross-referenced with each of the other chapters for improved understanding.

Key Features

  • More than 150 customized illustrations solidify connections between anatomy and physiology
  • Clinical cases throughout the text and expanded versions of the cases in a stand-alone chapter illustrate clinical relevance of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology
  • Bolded keywords highlight foundational concepts and terminology
  • Boxes throughout the text offer an opportunity for applying learning through applications, exercises, glossaries of key terms, and clinical cases
  • End-of-chapter summaries provide an overview of the key concepts within the chapter in plain language
  • A bulleted list of key concepts concludes each chapter to reinforce learning outcomes
  • References and further reading augment student learning
  • A PluralPlus companion website with PowerPoint lecture slides for instructors and case studies, lists of recommended reading and websites, and links to related videos for students

Video of the authors discussing Clinical Neuroscience for Communication Disorders



"​​The more I read, Clinical Neuroscience for Communication Disorders: Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology, the more I became excited about adopting this book for my undergraduate speech pathology and audiology students.  Blake and Hoepner meticulously created a neuroanatomy and neurophysiology text that provides just the right of information to challenge yet not overwhelm undergraduate students.  In addition, throughout the text the authors provided relevant and appropriate clinical cases to facilitate understanding and to clearly show students why a solid understanding of neuroanatomy and physiology is so important when working with client across the lifespan. ... Periodically, the authors briefly reviewed topics previously discussed in other chapters which helped the reader make connections and integrate information between sections.  I also found the Review of Head and Neck Anatomy bonus chapter helpful since many of our undergraduate students take Head and Neck Anatomy during a separate semester.  It was nice that this “review” was included within the neuroanatomy text."
—Kelly Knollman-Porter, PhD, CCC-SLP, Associate Professor, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

"I have not used a Neurology textbook that so clearly connects content and clinical practice and/or recommendations. When using another textbook, I have to supplement my lectures with activities/readings that help students understand “what does this mean for us as speech-language pathologists” or “how might this information be relevant to our clinical practice”. This is the first Neurology textbook that I have read written for our field that outlines these ideas for students and incorporates them into chapters about particular anatomical regions or concepts."
—Jamie H. Azios, PhD, CCC-SLP, Associate Professor, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Lamar University


Preface: How to Use This Textbook

Chapter 1. Overview of the Nervous System
Major Components
Organization of the Nervous System

Organizational Systems         

Cytoarchitecture Organization
Organization by Function

Nervous System Cells

Glial Cells

Structures and Landmarks


Frontal Lobes
Parietal Lobes
Temporal Lobes
Occipital Lobes

Subcortical Structures

Basal Ganglia



Chapter 2. Ventricular System: Cranium, Ventricles, and Meninges
Cranium, Cranial Vault, and Its Contents
Meningeal Layers

Dura Mater
Arachnoid Layer and Pia Mater


Cerebrospinal Fluid Path and Functions
Communication Through the Ventricular System

Disruptions to the Ventricular and Meningeal System

Meningeal Damage

Additional Resources

Chapter 3. Neuron Anatomy and Physiology
Classification of Neurons
Neuronal Communication

Big Picture Overview
Membrane Potentials

Synaptic Transmission

Action Potentials 
Myelinated Versus Unmyelinated Axons
Synaptic Transmission

Types of Neurotransmitters
Neurotransmitter Recovery and Degradation

Creating Meaning from Binary Signals

Patterns of Signals
Source of Signals
Region or Location

Conditions That Alter Synaptic Transmission

Neurologic Disorders and Diseases That Affect Synaptic Transmission

Parkinson’s Disease
Multiple Sclerosis
Myasthenia Gravis

Pharmacological Effects on Synaptic Transmission

Blocking Effects
Prolonging Effects
Mimicking Effect

Reference and Additional Resources

Chapter 4. Neuroembryology
The Neural Tube

Developmental (Embryologic) Precursors
Sulcus Limitans
Lamina Terminalis (Precursor to the Corpus Callosum)
Vesicles of the Neural Tube (CNS Precursors)
Landmark Timelines

Telencephalon and C-Shaped Development
Disruptions to Development and Consequences
References and Additional Resources

Chapter 5. Diencephalon
Diencephalic Structures


Thalamic nuclei     

Pituitary Gland

Damage to the Diencephalon

Chapter 6. Somatosensory Systems
Somatosensory System Structures

Sensory Receptors

Proprioceptive Sensory Receptors

Thalamic Nuclei
Primary Somatosensory Cortex
Cortical Association Areas

Sensory Pathways

Dorsal Column–Medial Lemniscal Pathway
Spinothalamic Tracts
Spinocerebellar Tracts

Sensory Innervation
Damage to Somatosensory System Components

Spinal Cord Damage
Thalamic Damage
Cortical Damage


Chapter 7. Visual System
The Eye

Anterior Structures
Posterior Structures: The Retina
Visual Fields

Visual Pathway
Visual Cortex

Dorsal Pathway
Ventral Pathway

Damage to the Visual System

Visual Field Cuts
Cortical Damage


Chapter 8. Auditory and Vestibular Systems
Auditory System

The Cochlea

Converting Sound Waves Into Neural Signals

Auditory Pathway
Frequency and Intensity Coding in the Auditory System     
Localization of Sound
Auditory Processing in the Cortex
Hearing Impairment and Damage to the Auditory System

 Conductive Hearing Loss
Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Vestibular System

Vestibular Pathways


Chapter 9. Chemical Senses: Smell and Taste
Olfaction: The Sense of Smell

Olfactory Pathway
Impairments of Olfaction

Gustation: The Sense of Taste

Gustatory Pathway
Factors Influencing Taste Perception
Impairments of Gustation


Chapter 10. Motor Systems
Motor System Structures

Primary Motor Strip
Premotor and Supplementary Motor Areas
Basal Ganglia

Motor Pathways

Pyramidal Tracts

Cranial and Spinal Nerves
Corticospinal Tracts
Corticobulbar Tract

Extrapyramidal Tracts

Rubrospinal Tract
Tectospinal Tract
Vestibulospinal Tract
Reticulospinal Tract

Motor Units and Muscle Innervation
Clinical Implications

Motor Cortex
Motor Pathways
Neuromuscular Junction
Basal Ganglia


Chapter 11. Cranial Nerves

General Functions

Cranial Nerve Pathways

Motor Pathways: Corticobulbar Tract
Sensory Pathways

Cranial Nerves III, IV, and VI: Occulomotor, Trochlear, and Abducens.

Muscles of the Eye
Oculomotor Nerve
Trochlear Nerve
Abducens Nerve

Cranial Nerve V: Trigeminal Nerve
Cranial Nerve VII: Facial Nerve
Cranial Nerve IX: Glossopharyngeal
Cranial Nerve X: Vagus Nerve

Pharyngeal Branch of the Vagus
Superior Laryngeal Nerve of the Vagus
Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve of the Vagus
Pharyngeal Plexus

Cranial Nerve XI: Spinal Accessory Nerve
Cranial Nerve XII: Hypoglossal Nerve
Integration of Cranial Nerve Functions

Speech Production

Clinical Implications: Examinations of Speech and Swallowing Mechanisms

Cranial Nerve/Oral Mechanism Examination

Smell and Taste
Extraocular Movements (CNs III, IV, and VI)
Jaw Movements and Mastication (CN V)
Facial Sensation (CN V)
Muscles of Facial Expression and Oral Preparation (CN VII)
Hearing (CN VIII)
Velar Functions—Motor and Sensory (CNs V, IX, and X)
Laryngeal Functions—Motor and Sensory (CN X)
Spinal Accessory (CN XI)
Lingual Motor Functions (CN XII with a Little Help from CN X)
Lingual Sensation (CNs V and IX)
Oral and Laryngeal Diadochokinetic Rate

Evidence for the OME
Clinical Bedside Swallow Examination and Instrumental Assessment

Additional Resources

Chapter 12. Limbic System and Reticular Formation
Limbic System Structures and Functions

Integrating Limbic Information

Reticular Formation and Reticular Activating System
References and Additional Resources

Chapter 13. Cerebrovascular System
Blood Supply and Functional Organization
Circle of Willis
Cerebral Blood Supply Distributions
Blood Supply to the Thalamus and Basal Ganglia
Blood Supply to the Cerebellum
Brainstem and Spinal Cord Distributions

Spinal Cord

Blood–Brain Barrier
Disruptions to Blood Supply
References and Additional Resources

Chapter 14. Communication and Cognition
Common Developmental Disruptions

Developmental Language Disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Down Syndrome
Fragile X Syndrome

Common Neurologic Insults and Diseases

Traumatic Brain Injury
Degenerative Diseases and Tumors



Lesions and Disorders

Pragmatics and Social Cognition

Lesions and Disorders


Executive Functions

Lesions and Disorders


Lesions and Disorders


Lesions and Disorders

References and Additional Resources

Chapter 15. Neuroplasticity
Neural (Cellular) Plasticity
Behavioral Plasticity

Intensity and Dosage
Factors That Contribute to Participation

Functional Reactivation Versus Functional Reorganization
References and Additional Resources

Chapter 16. Clinical Cases
Approach to Solving (Thinking Through) Cases
Section 1: Acquired Cases

Case 16–1. 48-Year-Old Female With Traumatic Brain Injury 
Case 16–2: 32-Year-Old Male With Postural Headaches and Mixed Upper/Lower Motor Neuron Signs
Case 16–3. 56-Year-Old Female With Progressive Onset of Dysphagia and Speech Impairments
Case 16–4. 17-Year-Old Female With Traumatic Brain Injury
Case 16–5. 63-Year-Old Male With Aphasia and Right Hemiparesis
Case 16–6. 86-Year-Old Male With Insidious Onset of Cognitive-Communication Changes
Case 16–7. 45-Year-Old Female With Acute Onset of Confusion and Language Impairment
Case 16–8. 62-Year-Old Male With Acute Onset of Lethargy and Impaired Attention
Case 16–9. 52-Year-Old Male With Acute Onset of “Slurred" Speech and “Drunken" Gait
Case 16–10. 70-Year-Old Male With Acute Onset of Dysarthria, Vertigo, Nausea, and Double Vision
Case 16–11. 22-Year-Old With Acute Onset of Weakness and Respiratory Distress
Case 16–12. 62-Year-Old Female With Gradual Onset of Speech and Swallowing Impairments
Case 16–13. 78-Year-Old Female With Gradual Onset of Speech and Gait Disturbances
Case 16–14. 52-Year-Old Female With Declining Cognition, Speech, and Swallowing Function
Case 16–15. 86-Year-Old Female With Memory and Swallowing Difficulties
Case 16–16. 73-Year-Old Male With Right Facial and Tongue Atrophy

Section 2: Pediatric and Developmental Cases

Case 16–17. 5-Year-Old Boy With Shunt Malfunction
Case 16–18. 4-Year-Old Male With Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Case 16–19. 30-Year-Old Female With Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum
Case 16–20. 11-Year-Old Male With Brainstem Tumor
Case 16–20. 11-Year-Old Female With Traumatic Brain Injury 

Case Question Answers

Appendix. Review of Head and Neck Anatomy


Margaret Lehman Blake

Margaret Lehman Blake, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Houston and a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Her research focuses on cognitive-communication disorders associated with right hemisphere brain damage with the goal of understanding the underlying deficits in order to develop better assessments and treatments. She is a recipient of the University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award, a founding member of the International Right Hemisphere Collaborative, and the co-creator of Dr. Blake is the author of The Right Hemisphere and Disorders of Cognition and Communication: Theory and Clinical Practice, and co-author of Clinical Neuroscience for Communication Disorders: Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology, both published by Plural Publishing.

Learn More

Jerry K. Hoepner

Jerry Hoepner, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. He teaches courses in anatomy and physiology, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, acquired cognitive-communication disorders, dysphagia, and counseling. Dr. Hoepner co-facilitates the Blugold Brain Injury Group, Mayo Brain Injury Group, Thursday Night Poets, and Chippewa Valley Aphasia Camp. His research addresses video self-modeling interventions for individuals with cognitive communication disorders, project-based interventions, aphasia camp outcomes, motivational interviewing, counseling methods and training, undergraduate research outcomes, course-embedded clinical experiences, and instructional pedagogies. He is a co-founder of the Teaching and Learning in Communication Sciences & Disorders journal. In 2022, he co-founded the ASHA SIG20 for counseling. Dr. Hoepner is the co-author of Clinical Neuroscience for Communication Disorders: Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology by Plural Publishing. In 2021, he was awarded Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In 2023, he received the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders Distinguished Contribution Award for enriching education in CSD.

Learn More

Clinical Neuroscience for Communication Disorders: Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology comes with access to supplementary student and instructor materials on a PluralPlus companion website.

To access the student materials, you must register the access code printed on the inside front cover of your book on the companion website.

To access the instructor materials, you must contact Plural Publishing, Inc. to be verified as an instructor and receive your access code.

    Tel: 866-758-7251 (toll free) or 858-492-1555

*Note for students: If you have purchased this textbook used or have rented it, your access code will not work if it was already redeemed by the original buyer of the book. Plural Publishing does not offer replacement access codes for used or rented textbooks. 

Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology for Speech and Hearing Sciences

First Edition

J. Anthony Seikel, Kostas Konstantopoulos, David G. Drumright

Details: 385 pages, Full Color, Hardcover, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-071-4

© 2020 | Available

Neuroimaging in Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Edition

Roger J. Ingham

Details: 243 pages, Full Color, Hardcover, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-59756-102-0

© 2008 | Available

Treatment Resource Manual for Speech-Language Pathology.

Sixth Edition

Froma P. Roth, Colleen K. Worthington

Details: 539 pages, 2-Color, Softcover (with lay-flat binding), 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-118-6

© 2021 | Available

Cognitive and Communication Interventions: Neuroscience Applications for Speech-Language Pathologists

First Edition

Martha S. Burns

Details: 318 pages, B&W, Softcover, 7" x 10"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-292-3

© 2021 | Available

Aphasia and Other Acquired Neurogenic Language Disorders: A Guide for Clinical Excellence

Second Edition

Brooke Hallowell

Details: 629 pages, 2-Color with Full-Color Insert, Softcover, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-159-9

© 2023 | Available

Neuroscience Fundamentals for Communication Sciences and Disorders

Second Edition

Richard D. Andreatta

Details: 802 pages, Full Color, Hardcover, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-359-3

© 2024 | Available

Acquired Neurogenic Communication Disorders: An Integrated Clinical Approach

First Edition

Jerry K. Hoepner, Margaret Lehman Blake

Details: 362 pages, Full Color, Softcover, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-425-5

© 2025 | Available

Cognitive Communication Disorders

Fourth Edition

Michael L. Kimbarow, Sarah E. Wallace

Details: 550 pages, B&W, Softcover, 7" x 10"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-511-5

© 2024 | Available