Meet the Lab
|Members of the lab in Spring 2019 on the Moody Bridge. From left to right: Dr. Liberty Hamilton, Maansi Desai, Natalie Clark, Cassandra Villarreal, Ian Griffith, Jade Holder, Mary Lowery, Garret Kurteff.|
Liberty Hamilton, Ph.D.
Dr. Hamilton completed her Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley and her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco Center for Integrative Neuroscience and Department of Neurosurgery. Her research interests include how speech sounds are represented in the auditory cortex and how these representations change during learning, development, and as a result of plasticity. To investigate this, she applies computational methods to intracranial electrophysiological recordings from patients undergoing surgical treatment for epilepsy. This work involves collaborations with clinicians and epileptologists at Austin's Dell Children's Hospital and through the UT Dell Medical School. Dr. Hamilton holds a joint appointment in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Department of Neurology at Dell Medical School.
She is also affiliated with the UT Austin Institute for Neuroscience, the UT CARE (Clinically Applied Rehabilitation Research and Engineering) Initiative , and the UT Austin Center for Perceptual Systems.
Garret Kurteff is a 2nd year MA-PhD student in the CSD program. His background is in psychology, linguistics, and neurosurgery research. In the Hamilton Lab, he hopes to answer questions about the neurobiology of speech production via electrophysiological methods. His Masters will be in Speech-Language Pathology and he is particularly interested in treatment of adult neurogenic communication disorders like aphasia and apraxia of speech. The phrase "Broca's Area" causes him to cringe visibly.
Maansi Desai is a 2nd year PhD student in the CSD program. Her background is in piano performance and neuroscience. In the Hamilton Lab, she is using electrophysiological methods (ECoG/EEG) and naturalistic stimuli to investigate speech-in-noise.
Ian Griffith is a research assistant in the Hamilton Lab. He studied Cognitive Science at the University of California, Berkeley with a concentration in cognitive and computational neuroscience. His current work involves using deep neural network models to understand pitch and phonetic processing in the brain.
Jade Holder is a 4th year undergraduate student in the CSD program. She is particularly interested in language and cognition in adults, and aims to discover more about the similarities and differences between music and speech processing.
Rachel Sorrells is a 4th year undergraduate student in the Neuroscience program. She is particularly interested in sound and music processing in the brain, and aims to pursue a PhD studying auditory processing pathways.
Nicole Currens is a 4th year undergraduate student studying Linguistics and Computer Science. She is interested in learning more about how language is processed in the brain and hopes to attend a graduate program in linguistics.
Amanda Martinez is a 3rd year undergraduate in the CSD program. She is interested in learning how the brain processes language in children and adults. She plans on attending graduate school to become a SLP.
Jacob Cheek is a 5th year undergraduate in both the CSD and Neuroscience program. He is interested in how neurogenic disorders affect American Sign Language in individuals with hearing loss. He hopes to attend graduate school in Audiology and eventually pursue a PhD in Neuroscience.
Valerie Rae Mercado
Valerie Mercado is a 4th year undergraduate student studying English, Linguistics, and Japanese. She has interests in bilingualism and language acquisition, but recently discovered a new interest in learning about language processing within the brain. She plans to teach English in Japan after graduating then hopes to attend a graduate program in Linguistics.
Department of Neurosurgery & Center for Integrative Neuroscience, University of California, San Francisco
Nancy Nussbaum, Ph.D., ABPP-CN
Pediatric Neuropsychology, Dell Children's Medical Center Comprehensive Epilepsy Center
Section Chief, Pediatric Neuropsychology, Dell Children's Medical Center. Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin.
MEG Research Director, Dell Children's Medical Center. Associate Research Professor, Department of Psychology, UT Austin
Chief, Pediatric Neurosurgery, Dell Children's Medical Center, Co-CEO Pediatric Specialty Services, Co-Director - Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program, Adjunct Professor - Department of Molecular Biosciences - UT Austin, Professor of Surgery/Neurosurgery/Pediatrics/Neurology - Dell Medical School at UT Austin.
Board-certified pediatric neurologist, Child Neurology Consultants of Austin and Dell Children's Medical Center. Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Courtesy Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Dell Medical School, UT Austin.
Rotation student (2018). Current: Eyal Seidemann Lab (UT Austin Center for Perceptual Systems).
Research volunteer (2017-2018).
Rotation student (2019). Current: Alex Huk Lab (UT Austin Department of Neuroscience).
Undergraduate student volunteer (2018-2019). Graduated 2019 - B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders, UT Austin.
Undergraduate student volunteer (2018-2019). Graduated with B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders, UT Austin -- May 2019. Current: Graduate student in Medical Speech Language Pathology at the University of Washington.
Mary Lowery, MA-SLP
Masters student (2017-2019). Mary Lowery graduated with her masters in Speech Language Pathology from UT Austin in May 2019. Her thesis investigated perception of simultaneous natural speech and music using EEG. She is now pursuing her clinical fellowship (CF) in Speech Language Pathology.
Undergraduate research volunteer (summer 2019). Natalie Miller is now pursuing her PhD in Musicology at Princeton University.
Undergrad research volunteer (summer - fall 2019). Paranjaya Pokharel is a 2nd year Public Health undergrad.