I am Chair of the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, as well as Associate Director of the Maryland Language Science Center. I also helped found the UMD Infant & Child Studies Consortium and the University of Maryland Autism Research Consortium. Previously, I was the Director of Graduate Studies for both HESP and the Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, and I am also a member of the Center for the Comparative & Evolutionary Biology of Hearing. In 2013, I was honored with the BSOS Outstanding Graduate Advisor award. My research focuses on speech perception and language acquisition. More specifically, I am interested in how the brain recognizes words from fluent speech, especially in the context of noise, and how this ability changes with development. For more information on my research, please select the research tab, above. Or download my public-oriented research statement.
Areas of Interest
- Speech Perception
- Language acquisition
- Word-finding errors
- Word recognition
My research focuses on speech perception and language acquisition. More specifically, I am interested in how the brain recognizes and learns words from fluent speech, especially in the context of noise, and how this ability changes with development. Recent research has examined topics such as: 1) infants' ability to recognize their name in the context of noise 2) how information from one stream of speech can influence the perceptual processing of an alternate stream of speech 3) the effect of noise on children's ability to learn new words 4) the effects of lexical neighbors on children's and adult's word naming, both those who are typically developing and those who have word-finding difficulties or who stutter 5) whether infant perceptual abilities and parental input predict later language development 6) children's ability to comprehend degraded speech, such as that produced by a cochlear-implant 7) the effect of sports-related concussions on children's language processing. Current grants focus on 1) the potential contributing roles of speech segmentation, statistical learning, and parental input in children's language acquisition, 2) how bilingual exposure during infancy affects the ability to attend to speech in noise, 3) children's ability to combine information from multiple sources (including effects of prior knowledge) 4) the ability of young children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to understand speech in noise, and 5) early perceptual differences between children at risk for an ASD diagnosis and those not at risk. We are also working to develop a new software system for testing young infants in listening studies.
You can download my public-oriented research statement here.
CampusDirector of Graduate Studies, Program in Neuroscience & Cognitive Science: 2012-2014
CampusDirector of Graduate Studies, Hearing & Speech Sciences: 2005-2014
CampusChair of Admissions Committee, Hearing & Speech Sciences: 2005-2014
CampusChair of Admissions Committee, Program in Neuroscience & Cognitive Science: 2012-2014
CampusDirector of Ph.D. program in Hearing & Speech Sciences: 2006-2014
CampusDirector of Masters Program in Speech-Language Pathology: 2005-2014
CampusAssociate Director, Maryland Language Science Center: 2013-present
CampusChair, Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences: 2014-present