Research in Communication Sciences and Disorders

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Research in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Learn more about what each lab does and reach out to the contact for the one that interests you.

Aphasia Research and Treatment Lab (ARTlab)

Principal Investigator: Maya Henry, PhD., CCC-SLP

Research in the lab is directed at improving our understanding of how the brain supports speech and language processes and how targeted treatment programs may improve communication impairments caused by stroke or neurodegenerative disease. The lab utilizes current approaches in cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging, and cognitive rehabilitation to address these issues.

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Augmetative and Alternative Communication Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Rajinder Koul, Ph.D.

We have primarily pursued two lines of research over the past 20 years. One line of research investigates the efficacy of AAC intervention in persons with chronic severe aphasia and the variables that influence the outcomes of such intervention. Unlike previous research that fell seriously short on demonstrating cause effect relationships, we use experimental designs that controlled for internal validity concerns. Resulting publications document that persons with severe Broca’s aphasia are able to use dedicated speech generating devices (SGDs) or symbol software programs/ apps to identify, select, and combine symbols to produce simple phrases and sentences in a variety of contexts. We also observed that message organization strategies available in SGDs require cognitive-linguistic efforts that typically exceed the attentional and othercognitive resources available in people with severe aphasia. The second line of research is focused on understanding factors that influence symbol learning in persons with developmental disabilities. We have conducted a series of studies on the perception of synthetic speech in people with intellectual impairmentand investigated the effects of synthetic speech output on symbol learning. In collaboration with Dr.Schlosser, I extended this work to persons with autism. Our results indicate that people with severe intellectual and communication impairments are able to understand synthetic speech and synthetic speech output has a facilitative effect on symbol learning. This work has been instrumental in increasing the use of SGDs by people with severe communication impairments.. To accomplish these lines of research, the AAC lab is equipped with several dedicated speech generating devices (e.g., Dynavox, Tobi, Lingraphica, and AMDi low-tech communication device), stand-alone apps and eye tracking software programs.

Dr. Jennifer and Emanuel Bodner Developmental Stuttering Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Courtney Byrd, Ph.D.

Our mission is to help persons who stutter, family members of persons who stutter, and professionals who work with persons who stutter in the community through the provision and sharing of evidence based practices, the implementation of cutting edge clinical training methodologies, and the completion of innovative research with specific focus on translating theory to clinical practice.

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Central Sensory Processes Lab

Principal Investigator: Julia Campbell, Ph.D.

Our research is focused on cortical plasticity, or the ability of the brain to adapt to changes in the environment.  Specifically, we are interested in how a typical brain with no sensory disorders might process various sensory input such as audition and vision over the lifespan, and how these cortical functions interact.

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Communication in Adults Research Group

Principal Investigator: Thomas Marquardt, Ph.D.

The primary goal is to understand acquired language disorders in adults. The current projects in the CAR Lab focus mainly on traumatic brain damage.

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Hamilton Lab

Principal Investigator: Liberty Hamilton, Ph.D.

The Hamilton lab investigates how the human brain processes speech sounds using intracranial electrocorticography (ECoG) recordings from patients with intractable epilepsy who are undergoing surgery to treat their epilepsy.  We use a combination of electrophysiology, behavior, neuroimaging, and computational modeling to ask how different features of sounds are combined to form the words that we speak and hear, and how this changes during development.

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Hearing Function Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Craig Champlin, Ph.D.

The aim of the Hearing Function Lab is to understand the workings of typical and atypical hearing systems. By understanding the underlying mechanisms of such systems, we are able to devise more sensitive tests used to characterize and track changes in hearing function over time.

Human Abilities in Bilingual Language Acquisition (HABLA) Laboratory 

Principal Investigators: Lisa Bedore, Ph.D. and Elizabeth Peña, Ph.D.

The focus of the work at the HABLA lab is understanding how bilinguals organize and access their two language systems in an attempt to understand the nature of language breakdowns associated to language impairment.

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Michael and Tami Lang Stuttering Institute

Principal Investigator: Courtney Byrd, Ph.D.

The mission of the Michael and Tami Lang Stuttering Institute is to help persons who stutter, their families, and their clinicians through the provision and sharing of evidence based practices, the implementation of cutting edge clinical training methodologies, and the completion of innovative research with specific focus on translating theory to practice.

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Sound Brain Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Bharath Chandrasekaran, Ph.D.

In the SoundBrain lab, researchers study the sensory and cognitive processes that underlie speech and music perception. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), event-related potentials (ERPs), brainstem electrophysiology and behavioral methods, they study the representation of speech and music in the human brain, and how these representations are modified by listening experiences.

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Speech Psychophysics Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Chang Liu, Ph.D.

The lab focuses on auditory processing of speech and non-speech sounds in a broad range of listeners including:

  • native and non-native English listeners,
  • listeners with hearing impairment, and
  • children with typical development and speech disorders.

We are also interested in:

  • speech acoustics for native and non-native speakers,
  • speech technology for speech enhancement, and
  • computational models for speech recognition.

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