Tiana Cowan (PhD candidate in CSD)
So Yeon Chun (PhD candidate in CSD)
Hannah Hebert (MS student in CSD)
How do speech and language interact with motor and cognitive abilities over the course of development? This broad question motivates research in our lab. We use a variety of techniques. To investigate how low-level auditory processing is influenced by higher-level language processing, we use electroencephalography—the recording of brain activity at the scalp. Currently, we are studying these interactions in typical-language adults, but long-term research goals include adults and children with language impairment. We use computerized behavioral tasks to study how attention and learning contribute to language abilities in monolingual and bilingual schoolchildren, both with and without language impairments. Using play-based behavioral tasks, we investigate how monolingual and bilingual preschool children understand the mental states of other people, and ways in which that ability is influenced by language and executive functions. We also use experimental tasks disguised as games to study how motor control of hand movements is related to speech in preschoolers.