Faculty Directory

Kuchinsky, Stefanie

Kuchinsky, Stefanie

Research Investigator, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Research Associate Professor, Uniformed Services University
Affiliate Faculty, UMD
Hearing and Speech Sciences
Brain and Behavior Institute

The ability to communicate is something people typically take for granted. It’s often not until we listen to speech in substantial background noise or try to learn a second language that we appreciate how effortful language processing can be. Certain groups of individuals are likely to experience greater listening effort than others, such as older adults with hearing loss. Using a variety of behavioral, neural (e.g., fMRI, EEG, MEG), and physiological measures (e.g., pupillometry), my research aims to investigate the auditory, linguistic, and cognitive mechanisms that support speech comprehension in adverse conditions. By better characterizing the challenges that listeners face, we can begin to develop effective interventions that not only improve speech understanding but also optimize listening effort.   

I conduct this work, in part, at the University of Maryland (UMD) through my faculty affiliation with the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences (HESP), the Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS), the Second Language Acquisition Program, and the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science (NACS) Program. My primary appointment is as a Research Investigator in the Audiology and Speech Pathology Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, MD. Prior to starting at WRNMMC, I was an Assistant Research Scientist/Research Assistant Professor at UMD. I completed my Ph.D. in cognitive psychology at the University of Illinois and my postdoctoral training in auditory and cognitive neuroscience in the Hearing Research Program at the Medical University of South Carolina.

  • Speech perception and production
  • Attention and effort
  • Cognitive training
  • Neural and physiological methods: eyetracking, pupillometry, functional and structural imaging

For a full list of my publications, please visit:



New robust and scalable computational methodology developed by UMD researchers helps identify directed connectivity within the brain

‘NLGC’ can be used with magnetoencephalography to better understand the neural mechanisms behind sensory processing.

How does the brain turn heard sounds into comprehensible language?

$2.88M in NIH funding could lead to brain-aware, tunable hearing devices.

Simon invited speaker at implantable auditory prostheses conference

Simon spoke on how EEG and MEG successes may lead to neurophysiologically based speech perception measures.

Brain and Behavior Initiative (BBI) hosts Second Annual Seed Grant Symposium

The University’s Brain and Behavior Initiative (BBI) hosted its Second Annual Seed Grant Symposium on November 14, 2018 at Adele’s in the Stamp Student Union.

BBI affiliated faculty receive $8 million NIH grant to combat hearing loss in older people

Multidisciplinary research will examine strategies to improve communication challenges.

Fritz, Shamma are collaborators on new DARPA Targeted Neuroplasticity Training Program

The University of Maryland will receive up to $8.58 million from DARPA for the research, which is led by the UMD Center for Advanced Study of Language.