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Communication Disorders & Special Education:Research

Laboratory Facilities

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Oral Preschool Research Program

Department faculty engage in research in the Oral Preschool classroom to examine approaches to optimize communication development and learning in children who are deaf or hard of hearing with cochlear implants or hearing aids. The classroom annually has 4-6 children who work with a deaf education teacher on skills development. Research techniques are implemented to understand factors that promote learning.

Neuroimaging Laboratory

This lab houses hardware and software to implement functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), a neuroimaging tool used to study the neural correlates of behavior, particularly neural activation in the prefrontal cortex. Studies focus on examining patterns of activation associated with different language behaviors in individuals with neurologic conditions, such as stroke, and changes in those patterns associated with speech-language therapy activities.

Communication Sciences & Disorders Research Laboratory

The CSD lab houses audiology equipment, a sound booth, and eye-tracking equipment. Three computers are in the lab to support special software for analysis of child language samples and eye-tracking data used in studies of auditory-visual processing and attentional control.

Faculty Research & Publications

Family-centered early intervention: Supporting infants and toddlers in natural environments.

Family-centered early intervention: Supporting infants and toddlers in natural environments. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing. Raver, S. A., & Childress, D. (2015).

Oxford Handbook of Aphasia and Language Disorders.

Oxford Handbook of Aphasia and Language Disorders. New York: Oxford University Press. Raymer, A.M., & Rothi, L.J.G. (Eds.) (2017).

Explore Our Faculty Research Interests


Research Interests

Jonna Bobzien, Ph.D.

Development and implementation of appropriate assessment and instruction for sensory, social, cognitive, and communication skills in students with autism spectrum disorder and/or severe intellectual disability.

Laura Chezan, Ph.D.

Autism spectrum disorder; significant cognitive disabilities; communication interventions; behavior support; single-case experimental design.

Sabra Gear, Ph.D.

Effective teaching methods and learning strategies for teacher and parent education to improve outcomes and school readiness for young children at risk for developing high incidence disabilities.

Rachel Johnson, Ph.D.

Influence of principles of motor learning and motivation factors on patient outcomes in speech rehabilitation for neurogenic communication disorders; using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to measure cortical activity following brain injury; augmentative and alternative communication.

Selena Layden, Ph.D.

Autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, teacher performance, improving implementation of evidence-based practices in the classroom, special education policy.

Anne Michalek, Ph.D.

Contributions of executive attention (i.e. working memory capacity and attentional control) and visual cues during language-based tasks for adults with and without ADHD; scholarship of teaching and learning in inter-professional education.

Kimberly Murphy, Ph.D. Child language disorders; connections between language and literacy; early identification of children at risk for literacy difficulties; intervention for language and literature disorders; evidence-based practice in speech-language pathology.

Stacie Raymer, Ph.D.

Influence of principles of neuroplasticity to optimize rehabilitation outcomes in neurologic communication disorders; auditory processing in challenging listening conditions; evidence-based practice in speech-language pathology.

Corrin Richels, Ph.D.

Investigation of preschool speech and language development in children who stutter and children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

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