Speech is a unique evolutionary achievement that has played an enormous role in human development. We investigate how this system works and what the underlying neural mechanisms are.
These investigations focus on a range of questions. For example, using behavioral and MEG techniques, we are looking at individual variation in the brain lateralization of speech processing.
Using fMRI, we are examining how cognates affect activation of brain regions in bilingual word recognition. We have a set of studies that explore the relationship between speech perception and production, including experiments that reflect the sometimes inhibitory effect one may have on the other.
Ongoing research is testing the role of sleep, exploring some language acquisition cases in which sleep consolidates information, and others in which sleep can help to clear out information that is no longer needed. Collectively, our research efforts are advancing the field’s understanding of spoken language processing.