People

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.

Director

Liberty Hamilton

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.

Graduate Students

PhD student Garret Kurteff

Garret Kurteff

Garret Kurteff is a 1st year PhD student in the CSD program also pursuing a Masters in Speech Language Pathology. His background is in psychology, linguistics, and neurosurgery. In the Hamilton Lab, he hopes to answer questions about the neurobiology of speech production via electrophysiological methods. The phrase “Broca’s Area” causes him to cringe visibly.

PhD student Maansi Desai

Maansi Desai

Maansi Desai is a 1st year PhD student in the CSD program. Her background is in piano performance and neuroscience. During her time in the Hamilton lab, she is interested in utilizing electrophysiological methods (ECoG/EEG) to understand the overlapping neural substrates of speech and music production.

Research Assistants

Ian Griffith

Ian Griffith is a research assistant in the Hamilton Lab and is working on using deep neural network models to understand pitch and phonetic processing in the brain.

Photo of CSD graduate student Mary Lowery

Mary Lowery, MA-SLP

Mary Lowery graduated with her masters in Speech Language Pathology from UT Austin in May 2019. She is continuing to work in the Hamilton lab to extend upon her master's thesis investigating speech and music perception. Her other research interests include audiovisual speech perception and speech-on-speech recognition.

Undergraduate Students

Photo of Jade Holder

Jade Holder

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.

Picture of undergraduate student Rachel Sorrells, a research volunteer in the Hamilton Lab

Rachel Sorrells

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.

Photo of undergraduate student Nicole Currens

Nicole Currens

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.

Photo of undergraduate student Paranjaya Pokharel

Paranjaya Pokharel

Paranjaya Pokharel is a 2nd year Public Health undergrad. She is especially interested in recovery from language loss in stroke survivors, and is planning on attending medical school.

Amanda Martinez

Natalie Miller

Collaborators

Dave Clarke, MD, MBBS

Department of Pediatrics, Dell Medical School at UT Austin

Bharath Chandrasekaran, Ph.D

University of Pittsburgh

Maya Henry, Ph.D. CCC-SLP

UT Austin Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Edward Chang, MD

Department of Neurosurgery & Center for Integrative Neuroscience, University of California, San Francisco

Fred Perkins, MD

Dell Children's Medical Center Comprehensive Epilepsy Center

Nancy Nussbaum, Ph.D., ABPP-CN

Pediatric Neuropsychology, Dell Children's Medical Center Comprehensive Epilepsy Center

Jeffrey Titus, PhD

Section Chief, Pediatric Neuropsychology, Dell Children's Medical Center. Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin.

Paul Ferrari, PhD

MEG Research Director, Dell Children's Medical Center. Associate Research Professor, Department of Psychology, UT Austin

Timothy George, MD

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.

Aaron Cardon, MD

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.

Alumni

Shun Kobayashi

Rotation student (2018). Current: Eyal Seidemann Lab (UT Austin Center for Perceptual Systems).

Picture of Noora Raad, UT CSD graduate

Noora Raad

Research volunteer (2017-2018).

Picture of Institute for Neuroscience PhD student Stephanie Shields

Stephanie Shields

Rotation student (2019). Current: Alex Huk Lab (UT Austin Department of Neuroscience).

Photo of CSD undergraduate Natalie Clark

Natalie Clark

Undergraduate student volunteer (2018-2019). Graduated 2019 - B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders, UT Austin.

Photo of Cassandra Villarreal

Cassandra Villarreal

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.