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M.A. defense: Stephen Graham

Stephen Graham successfully defended his M.A. thesis today. The title of his thesis is “Individual differences in distributional learning for speech: What’s ideal for ideal observers?” Congratulations, Stephen!

Emma Hungaski receives SURF award

Emma has received a competitive SURF award from the UConn Office for Undergraduate Research. This award will provide a stipend for Emma to work in the SLaP Lab this coming summer. Emma’s project is titled “Neural determinants of phonetic category structure in children.” Congratulations!

Dr. Theodore receives NIH NIDCD R21

Dr. Theodore has received a 3-year grant from the NIH NIDCD to examine phonetic category structure in individuals with and without specific language impairment (LI). Specific language impairment (LI) is a common child learning disorder that can persist into adulthood and puts individuals at risk for other disabilities including learning disability, reading disability, and failure to thrive in academic environments. The proposed research will use fMRI neuroimaging and behavioral methods to compare phonetic category structure in individuals with and without LI with respect to (1) how phonetic category structure is represented in the brain and (2) how phonetic category structure is dynamically modified as a consequence of exposure to phonetic variation. These findings will result in improved specification of the etiology of LI, which can be used to develop more targeted rehabilitation protocols. The title of the grant is “Determinants of phonetic category structure in language impairment.”

Divya Ganugapati receives SHARE award

Photo of student.Divya has received a competitive SHARE award from the UConn Office for Undergraduate Research. This award will provide a stipend for Divya to work in the SLaP Lab for the Spring 2017 semester. Divya’s project is titled “Pesos and ponies: Neural representation of phonetic category structure in Spanish-English bilinguals.” Congratulations!

Paper accepted at Brain and Language

Be on the lookout for a new paper to appear in Brain and Language. The title is “Voice-sensitive brain networks encode talker-specific phonetic detail.” This work was completed in collaboration with Dr. Emily B. Myers at the University of Connecticut.

Paper accepted at the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

Be on the lookout for a new paper to appear in JASA Express Letters! The title is “Lexically guided perceptual tuning of internal phonetic category structure.” This work was Julia’s first project in the SLaP Lab and is now her first publication. Congratulations, Julia!

Paper accepted at Brain and Language

Be on the lookout for a new paper to appear in Brain and Language. The title is “Reading ability reflects individual differences in auditory brainstem function, even into adulthood.” This work was completed in collaboration with Dr. Erika Skoe and Ms. Lisa Brody at the University of Connecticut.

Paper accepted at JEP:HPP

Be on the lookout for a new paper to appear in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance. The title is “More than a boundary shift: Perceptual adaptation to foreign-accent speech reshapes the internal structure of phonetic categories.” This work was completed in collaboration with Dr. Xin Xie and Dr. Emily B. Myers at UConn. Congrats, Xin!

Research Intensive Summer Experience

We’re currently recruiting undergraduate students to participate in the 2016 RISE program in the SLaP Lab. You can learn more about the program, here! Interested students should complete the inquiry form by March 1, 2016.

Julia Drouin receives IBACS Fellowship

Julia Drouin, a Ph.D. student in the SLaP Lab, has received a summer fellowship from the Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences. She will be in residence at the Institute this summer engaged in advanced training in grantsmanship, culminating in the preparation of an NIH F31 application. Her research proposal examines the neural and behavioral time-course of nonnative sound contrast learning in adults, focusing on plasticity of auditory encoding (using ABR  methods) and changes to cortical processing (using MRI methods). Congratulations, Julia!