Core Research Themes

List of themes


Theme #1: Communication diversity across the lifespan

Successful communication abilities, and the understanding of interpersonal differences in communication practices, are important for health and well-being across the lifespan. Collectively, our faculty contribute to research on the genetic, biological, sensory-motor, and cognitive-linguistic bases of interpersonal communication and its development. We use a wide variety of research designs to identify cultural and age related expectations for development and to identify predictors of change in speech, language, literacy, hearing, and voice. Our research improves the early identification and diagnostics of communication disorders and to support communication practices that will enhance quality of life in family, social, educational, and vocational contexts.
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Theme #2: Neural bases of communication

Neural processes are important to all aspects of communication. Our faculty study brain anatomy and physiology of human communication and swallowing. In doing so, we examine the sensory/neural mechanisms that mediate sensory-motor integration, perception and cognition related to speech, hearing, and language. Through a variety of methodological approaches, our research advances understanding of the sensory/neuro-pathological bases of speech, language, hearing, cognitive, and swallowing disorders in pediatric and adult populations. Our research leads to deeper understanding of neural processes and brain functions for human communication and speech, language, and hearing disabilities.
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Theme #3: Treatment research in communication science disorders

Communicative competence is a foundation for all human social interaction, whether learning in schools, engaging in family life, working effectively, or participating as citizens in public life. Our faculty implement assessment, diagnosis, and intervention strategies for healthy communication practices across the lifespan, including individuals with recognized communication disorders, disability, and those from linguistic minority groups. We have a particular interest in the role of assistive technologies, broadly construed, as well as the development of evidence-based practices, prevention, and treatment models.
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Department of Speech and Hearing Science Core themes for 2015-16

The Speech and Hearing Science faculty has identified inter-related themes to reflect areas of excellence and expertise. They represent three distinct focal points to concentrate scholarly attention and resources, guide departmental decision-making, and provide an interface with our professional programs. Each core theme characterizes a research agenda that channels opportunities for learning and reflects a targeted area of impact to advance knowledge and practice.

Auditory-Hearing Labs

Language and Cognitive Communication Labs

Speech and Voice Labs