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You are here: Home / People / Karen Emmorey

Karen Emmorey

Karen Emmorey

Professor,Speech Language, San Diego State University

Director, Laboratory for Language & Cognitive Neuroscience

Executive Committee, Center for Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience


Research Interests: 
My research focuses on what sign languages can reveal about the nature of human language, cognition, and the brain. My lab studies the processes involved in how deaf people produce and comprehend sign language and how these processes are represented in the brain. We also investigate how experience with a signed language impacts nonlinguistic visual-spatial cognition, such as face processing, memory, and imagery. My research interests include how language modality impacts spatial language (talking about space), the linguistic functions of eye gaze in sign language, and the nature of bimodal bilingualism (ASL-English bilinguals). My investigations of the neural correlates of language and nonlinguistic cognitive functions draw on data from neuroimaging (fMRI and PET) and from patients who have suffered unilateral brain damage.