People

Faculty

Photo of Gerry A Gerry Altmann, Professor

Director, IBACS

Office: Bousfield 134C

Lab

gerry.altmann@uconn.edu

Research Interests: Sentence processing; event cognition; object representation

Accepting a new graduate student, starting Fall 2020. Applications welcome.

Headshot of Christian Brodbeck Christian Brodbeck, Assistant Research Professor

Lab

christian.brodbeck@uconn.edu

Research interests: Cognitive neuroscience of language, speech perception, EEG/MEG
Roeland Hancock, Assistant Research Professor

Associate Director, Brain Imaging Research Center

Office: PCSB 142A

Lab

roeland.hancock@uconn.edu

Research interests: Neurobiology of language; Neurochemistry; Individual Differences; Auditory Processing
Fumiko Hoeft, Professor

Director, Brain Imaging Research Center

Office: PCSB 142B

Lab: BOUS 329/333

fumiko.hoeft@uconn.edu

Research Interests: Brain development, Neuroimaging, Individual differences, Literacy acquisition, Dyslexia
Edward Large, Professor

Office: BOUS 386C

Lab

edward.large@uconn.edu

Research Interests: auditory pattern recognition and learning, perception of tonality in music, auditory brainstem neurodynamics, cortical dynamics of attention, perception of rhythm in music and speech, rhythmic interactions in nonhuman primates, emotional communication in music, neural basis of song.
James Magnuson, Professor

Office: BOUS 119

Lab

james.magnuson@uconn.edu

Research Interests: Spoken language understanding, language development, language disorder, neurobiology and genetics of language.
Emily Myers, Associate Professor

Office: PCSB 216

Lab: PCSB 143

emily.myers@uconn.edu

Research Interests: Speech perception, cognitive neuroscience, aphasia, second language acquisition, fMRI. Dr. Meyers is involved in the STEAM (STEM+Arts) collaboration.
Ken Pugh, Professor

President, Haskins Laboratories

Office & Lab: BOUS 331

kenneth.pugh@uconn.edu

Research Interests: Reading, reading disorder, neurobiology of language
Jay Rueckl, Professor

Office: BOUS 134B

Lab

Research Interests: Reading, Computational models, Learning and Memory, Brain Bases of Language, MRI
Whit Tabor, Associate Professor

Office: BOUS 124

Lab

whitney.tabor@uconn.edu

Research Interests: Balance between structure and flexibility, change in structured systems, dynamical systems theory, theory of computation, sentence processing, language change, group coordination
Photo of Eiling Yee Eiling Yee, Assistant Professor

Office: BOUS 170

Lab

eiling.yee@uconn.edu

Research Interests: Semantic memory and the neural representation of concepts; Spoken word recognition and language processing; Neural basis of language, aphasia

Emeriti

Paul Allopenna, Emeritus

paul.allopenna@uconn.edu

 

 
headshot of Carol Fowler Carol Fowler

carol.fowler@uconn.edu

Research interests: Ecology of language, speech perception from a direct-realist theoretical perspective; compatible theoretical approach to speech perception
Donald Shankweiler Donald Shankweiler

donald.shankweiler@uconn.edu

Research interests: Language, speech and brain Reading, and brain Reading acquisition

 

Post Doctoral Scholars

Silvia Clement-Lam
silvia.clementlam@uconn.edu
Silvia’s research interest is in understanding the mechanisms underlying children’s literacy acquisition through the lenses of both typical and atypical development, multilingualism, and other socio-psychological factors. She is a CNC-CT post-doctoral fellow, and currently working with Drs. Fumiko Hoeft and Devin Kearns on a project determining mechanisms that lead to optimal literacy outcomes in children with reading disorders.
Phoebe Gaston

phoebe.gaston@uconn.edu

Phoebe Gaston is a CNC-CT post-doctoral fellow, working with Jim Magnuson and Emily Myers. Her primary research interest is in how words are represented and recognized from speech. She is particularly interested in how contextual information impacts word recognition, and the interplay between syntactic and acoustic cues.

Christopher Heffner

christopher.heffner@uconn.edu

Now an assistant professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences at the University at Buffalo.

Gitte Joergensen

gitte.joergensen@uconn.edu

I am interested in how we represent different dimensions of events during language processing. More specifically, I am interested in how changes in time and state are processed and integrated into current event representations. For example, in sentences like “The woman will drop the ice cream. But first, she will look at the ice cream”, we must maintain two distinct representations of the ice cream – before and after it was dropped. But how do these representations interact as language unfolds?

Airey Lau

airey.lau@uconn.edu

Natasza Marrouch

natasza.marrouch@uconn.edu

Headshot of Sandra smiling in black and white. Sanra Villata

sandra.villata@uconn.edu

My research is concerned with the grammar-parser relation: my goal is to elucidate the mechanisms at play during real-time sentence processing, and to determine whether the grammar and the parser should be conceived of as two separate systems or as two facets of the same cognitive system. I tackle this issue mostly through the lens of ungrammatical sentence processing using several experimental methods (e.g., acceptability judgments, self-paced reading, and (in collaboration) EEG and computational modelling).

Headshot of Heejo Heejo You

hee_jo.you@uconn.edu

Graduate Students

Headshot of Anne Crinnion Anne Crinnion

anne.crinnion@uconn.edu

Anne Marie is a first-year graduate student working with Jim Magnuson and Emily Myers. She is interested in how acoustic, lexical, and semantic levels of processing interact over the time course of naturalistic speech processing. She hopes to study these interactions from behavioral, neural, and computational perspectives.

Charles Charles Davis

charles.davis@uconn.edu

My work investigates the cognitive and neural bases of semantic memory and its relation to language. Broadly, how do we know what things mean, how does the brain give rise to those meanings, and how does language help us to access and organize those meanings?

Headshot of Zach Ekves Zachary Ekves

zachary.ekves@uconn.edu

I am generally interested in event representation and processing. I'm particularly interested in how episodic memory systems facilitate this processing and interact with semantic memory systems (cognitively and neurally).

Jieyin Feng

jieyin.feng@uconn.edu

I am interested in the process of reading development and the underlying neural mechanism, through multimodal imaging methods and longitudinal design. Currently, I am working on the dyslexia population, and focused on their possible compensatory mechanisms with reading intervention and their causal effects. Also, I am interested in word reading development in bilingualism.

kyra2 Kyra Krass

kyra.krass@uconn.edu

My research interests lie in event cognition. I would like to know what role affordances and goals play in event processing and how we can use eye-tracking and behavioral techniques to investigate this. I am also interested in how bilingualism and executive functioning influence event processing.

Headshot of a smiling Nathan Lautz. Nathan Lautz

nathan.lautz@uconn.edu

Research Interests: Using the tools of cognitive psychology/neuroscience to study the role of systems for perception, action, and interoception in the representation of meaning at the conceptual/semantic level; The effects of context on conceptual representation; Action-relevant concepts; Abstract concepts

Karl Lerud Karl Lerud

Now PostDoc under Professor Gottfried Schlaug and affiliated with Baystate Health and UMass Medical School

Monica Li

monica.li@uconn.edu

I am interested in the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying spoken word recognition, particularly regarding how top-down (e.g., lexical knowledge, attention, context) and bottom-up (e.g., speech signal, noise) information interact to determine speech perception. I am currently working on my dissertation on a computational model of predictive coding in spoken word recognition.

Tong Li

tong.li@uconn.edu

Headshot of Sahil Luthra Sahil Luthra

sahil.luthra@uconn.edu

Sahil Luthra is a PhD candidate advised by Jim Magnuson and Emily Myers. He is currently working on his dissertation, which seeks to investigate the role of the right hemisphere in helping listeners adapt to different talkers during speech perception.

Photo of Hannah Mechtenberg smiling Hannah Mechtenberg

hannah.mechtenberg@uconn.edu

My interests are twofold. My first line of research concerns the processing of phonetic ambiguity during continuous speech perception, using a variety of different methods. The second revolves around how analogical reasoning and language processing intersect during learning. I hope to use dynamic functional connectivity measures to look at how analogical reasoning unfolds in the brain.

Oliver McNeil

oliver.mcneil@uconn.edu

I am currently working on multiple projects concerned with neurodevelopmental differences in children and adolescents who have impaired reading ability. In pursuit of this, I am doing functional connectivity analyses using fMRI data, as well as nonlinear analyses of EEG data, with a theoretical focus on the intrinsic oscillations of neuronal populations. I am also interested in the potential of machine learning techniques to elucidate relative contributions of developmental and functional differences to phenotypes, with an increasing focus on ameliorating many of the common pitfalls of these approaches.

Morrow_Hannah Hannah Morrow

hannah.morrow@uconn.edu

I'm broadly interested in how we learn and use information. My masters work involved looking at the EEG oscillations we produce during integration of visual and auditory stimuli. Currently, I'm studying how we use information creatively: specifically, how/when do our executive function abilities (e.g., being able to inhibit information or shift between goals) affect our divergent thinking abilities (e.g., when to use an object in a novel way to complete a goal)?

Headshot of Yanina Prystauka Yanina Prystauka

yanina.prystauka@uconn.edu

I am researching how sentence structure and event knowledge interact during sentence comprehension in monolingual and bilingual speakers. I am also generally interested in the neurobiology of sentence processing.

David Saltzman

david.saltzman@uconn.edu

My research concerns better specifying the information that we use to understand speech; what physical and social qualities of a talker affect the speech signal, how we use knowledge of these qualities to adapt to their unique manner of speech, and how we know what information is then relevant (or not relevant) to apply from one talker to another. I use behavioral, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological methods to achieve a multidisciplinary approach to this question.

Headshot of Oliver Sawi Oliver Sawi

Now Manager of Adaptive Learning Design and Analytics at Square Panda Inc. 

Elizabeth Simmons

Now Assitant Professor at Sacred Heart University Department of Communication Disorders

Yi Wei

yi.wei@uconn.edu

Henry Harrison VII Henry Wolf VII

henry.wolf_vii@uconn.edu

Research Assistants

Headshot of Leah Azab Leah Azab

leah.azab@uconn.edu

Leah Azab is a brainLENS Research Assistant, and an M1 at UConn Health. She is currently assisting in management of the ABCS project, Assessing Baby Cognition and Stress. Her research interests include socioemotional effects of stress in pediatric populations, and she is hoping to pursue her residency in psychiatry.

Elizabeth Burder

elizabeth.bruder@uconn.edu

Elizabeth is a research assistant in the brainLENS lab working on the Adult Reading Strategies Project. I have very broad interests in the brain, including mental and neurocognitive disorders.

Photo of Lizzie Collin smiling in a yellow shirt. Lizzie Collin

elizabeth.collin@uconn.edu

Lizzie Collin a graduate research assistant in the brainLENS Lab and Coordinator for the UConn Brain Imaging Research center under PI Dr. Fumiko Hoeft. She is currently pursuing a clinical master's degree in speech-language pathology and completing her thesis with Dr. Jennifer Mozeiko exploring employment outcomes in individuals with aphasia.

Headshot of Cristal Giorio Cristal Giorio

cristal.giorio_jackson@uconn.edu

Cristal Giorio is the lab manager at the LAB Lab. Cristal received her B.S. in Biology, Psychology, and Spanish Literature from Salem College. Her research interests revolve around second language acquisition and language processing alongside neuroimaging techniques. 

Headshot of Salman Haider Salman Haider

muhammad_salman.haider@uconn.edu

Salman Haider is a Research Assistant in the BRAINLens lab and is involved with the BRAIN Camp Project and the Brain Growth Project. His research interests broadly include cognitive science and applying computational approaches such as Machine Learning to neuroimaging data to predict the outcome of dyslexia.

Headshot of Brianna Kinnie Brianna Kinnie

brianna.kinnie@uconn.edu

Brianna is a study coordinator in the brainLENS lab for both the Adult Reading Strategies Program and the Family Brain Program.  She has a broad interest in the neurological basis of mental, developmental, and neurodegenerative disorders/diseases and hopes to enter an MD/PhD program in neuroscience in the upcoming year.