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
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