Lab Members

 Principal Investigator

Emily Myers, Professor, Lab PI

Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences 
Department of Psychological Sciences
Co-director: Cognitive Neuroscience of Communication-Connecticut Training Grant

I’m interested in the processes that allow a listener to map the speech signal to meaning, how these processes are instantiated in the brain, and how these processes break down in cases of language disorder. I received my Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Brown University in 2005. My primary appointment is in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, with a joint appointment in Psychological Sciences. I also serve as co-director (with Inge-Marie Eigsti) of the NIH-funded T32 training program, CNC-CT, which supports predoctoral and postdoctoral scholars studying the cognitive neuroscience of communication.

My current CV.  See Research and Publications page for downloads/pdfs.

Office: Phillips Communication Sciences Building 216

Contact: emily.myers@uconn.edu

Senior Lab Members

Phoebe Gaston is a CNC-CT post-doctoral fellow in Psychology. Her primary research interest is in how words are represented and recognized from speech. She is particularly interested in how information from sentence contexts can impact word recognition, and the interplay between syntactic and acoustic cues. Phoebe received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Maryland, College Park (2020) and her B.A. in Linguistics from Yale University (2013), working in between as a lab manager for the Neuroscience of Language Lab at NYU.
 
Bhamini Sharma is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. With her primary interest in the area of speech perception, her goal is to examine the neurophysiological aspects of speech perception in typical and atypical populations. She received her PhD in Linguistics, MSc in Audiology, and BSc in Speech and Hearing Sciences.
 
Sara Guediche is a postdoctoral research associate in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. Her research applies behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging methods to investigate the neural systems that support speech and language processing. She received her Ph.D from the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh (CNUP) under the supervision of Dr. Fiez. Her interdisciplinary training, through the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, led to a collaborative dissertation project on adaptive plasticity to distorted speech with Dr. Holt’s lab, at Carnegie Mellon University. Upon completion of her Ph.D, Dr. Guediche joined Dr. Blumstein’s lab, at Brown University where she examined flexibility in the perception of ambiguous acoustic-phonetic contrasts and word recognition, in noise. She then moved to Spain to work with Dr. Arthur Samuel’s lab at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language where was awarded an Individual Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship to explore her research interests, in bilingual populations.
 
David Saltzman is a Ph.D. student in Psychology. His primary research interests lays in the representation and implementation of the fine-grained acoustic cues contained in the speech signal, and their corresponding neurobiology. More specifically, he is interested in how listeners aggregate each individual experience with a speech sound to form robust speech sound categories. David received his M.S. in Experimental Psychology from Villanova University in 2016, where he investigated the role of the amplitude-envelope of speech in speaking rate compensation.
 
Hannah Mechtenberg is a Ph.D. student in Psychology. Her past research interests focused on the frontal lobe and its function in speech perception, and the role of the basal ganglia during category learning. Her current interests are in how analogical reasoning interacts with language processing during learning. She anticipates using behavioral and functional neuroimaging methods to investigate the interplay between these two systems. She received a B.S. in Neuroscience from Colorado State University in 2017, then came to the LAB Lab as a lab manager in 2018.
 
Anne Marie Crinnion is a Ph.D. student in Psychology. Some of her past research focused on computational modeling of acoustic cues. Currently, she is interested in how top-down information is integrated with lower-level acoustic information, from neural, computational, and behavioral perspectives. She received an A.B. from Harvard University in 2020, where she worked on object and letter processing.
 
Naomi Sellers is a Ph.D. student is Psychology who is interested in how input prediction and language error processing offer ways to study the intersection between language production and comprehension, and in how these processes vary across individuals. With a desire for clinical application, she wonders if language errors could give unique insights not only as a bridge between production and comprehension, but also as a bridge between normative and impaired language processing. She received a B.A. in Linguistics and in English from Regis University in 2018.
 
Hannah Olson is a lab manager at the LAB Lab. Hannah received her M.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Hartford in 2020 and her B.A. in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She previously completed her master’s thesis on accent imitation and voice switching in the LAB Lab. Her research interests include neuropsychology and psychological disorders, and she enjoys working with a variety of clinical populations.
 
Federico Sorcini is a lab manager at the LAB Lab. Federico received his B.A. in Psychology at the College of the Holy Cross. While at Holy Cross, he conducted research in the cognitive neuroscience of cognitive control, radiologist search patterns, preclinical eating disorders, substance use disorders, knowledge acquisition, and the effects of grammatical gender on unconscious cognition. He plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology to study the underlying neural circuits of higher-order cognition.

 

Undergraduate Research Assistants


Matthew Phillips is a senior at UConn studying Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences & Psychology with a minor in Cognitive Science. Matt’s research interests in the lab include categorical perception and non-native speech sound learning. After graduating, Matt plans on pursuing clinical certification and a PhD in the field of speech-language pathology specializing in stuttering.
Xinming Zhou is a senior at UConn majoring in Cognitive Science with a minor in Neuroscience. She is interested in speech perception with a special focus on the monolingual perception of accented speech. After graduation, she plans to pursue a master’s or a Ph.D. program to strengthen her understanding of bilingual, multilingual speakers’ language comprehension. 
Lillian Mastrogiovanni is a senior at UConn double majoring in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences & Human Development and Family Studies. She is not quite sure what she is interested in quite yet but hopes to find an interest by being part of the LAB team. After graduating, Lilly intends to receive her Master’s degree in speech-language pathology.  
Valerie Ferrante is a Senior at UConn majoring in Psychology, and minoring in Neuroscience. She is interested in aphasia and hopes to learn more about brain injury related speech disorders in the Language and Brain Lab. After graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school to become a Physician Assistant. 
 
Arden Ricciardone is a junior in the Honors Program, majoring in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, with a minor in Human Development and Family Sciences. As a member of the LAB Lab, she is interested in speech perception, as well as the roles that critical and sensitive periods play in developing language. After graduating, Arden plans on pursuing her master’s degree in speech-language pathology.
 
Cecelia Lickteig is a junior at UConn getting a dual degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Psychology and Linguistics. She is interested in learning about the brain and how different disorders can impact the perception of speech. She is also looking forward to learning more and furthering her interest in linguistics in the LAB lab. After graduation, Cecelia plans on applying and going to medical school.   
Gretchen Healy is a Junior at UConn majoring in Speech Language & Hearing Sciences and minoring in Human Development & Family Sciences. She is also interested in American Sign Language and will continue to take these courses, despite it not being one of her minors. She is interested in learning how different disorders or brain injuries impact speech production and/or interpretation. After graduating, Gretchen hopes to obtain her masters in Speech Pathology.
 
Lane Perkins is a junior at UConn majoring in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. She is especially interested in learning about how aphasia impacts both speech perception and production. She also hopes to learn more about research methods and gain experience in doing so. After graduation she plans on attending graduate school for speech pathology. 
 
Michelle Shavnya is a sophomore at UConn majoring in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and minoring in Psychology. Because she is bilingual, she wants to explore how this population perceives speech sounds. She is also excited to further her interests by working in the LAB Lab. After graduation, she plans to attend a master’s program for speech-language pathology.  
Chelsea Pereira is a sophomore in the Honors Program and is majoring in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. She is interested in learning the effects of bilingualism on the brain. She is also interested in understanding if these effects differ when someone learns another language later in life rather than growing up. After graduating, Chelsea hopes to earn her master’s degree in Speech Pathology. 
 
Kim Kabulis is a sophomore at UConn majoring in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences and minoring in Human Development and Family Sciences. She is interested in studying the impact of language disorders on expression and perception of speech, as well as how SLHS translates into voice coaching for actors. After graduating, Kim hopes to obtain her masters in Speech Pathology with a focus in coaching actors for acquiring accents and treating language disorders in children.  

 Lab Affiliates and Collaborators

Dr. James Magnuson, Ph.D.
Dr. Jennifer Mozeiko, Ph.D. 
Dr. Erika Skoe, Ph.D.
Dr. Rachel Theodore, PhD.

 


 Lab Alumni (Lab alums: keep in touch! Let us know where you end up!)

 

 Senior Lab Member Alumni                                         Research Assistant Alumni

Sahil Luthra (PhD, 2021): Postdoc, Carnegie Mellon University Cristal Giorio (former RA): PhD, Penn State University
Christopher Heffner (Postdoc): Faculty member, University at Buffalo Laura Morales (former URA): University of Connecticut
Pamela Fuhrmeister (PhD, 2020): Postdoc, University of Potsdam
Sophia Arruda (former URA): University of Connecticut
Kathrin Rothermich (Postdoc): Faculty member, East Carolina University
Ashley Lombardi (former URA): University of Connecticut
Xin Xie (PhD, 2015): Faculty Member, University of California Irvine Triana Feliconio (former URA, 2020 LAB Lab Digest Editor): SLP, New York Medical College
Jennifer Mozeiko (PhD, 2014): Faculty member, University of Connecticut Orly Berkoff (former URA): MS Program, TC Columbia University
Illiana Meza-Gonzales (MA, 2016): Job in the real world! Alyssa Finuoli (former URA): Graduate Program, SUNY New Paltz
Alexis Johns (PhD, 2016): Job in the real world!  Rachel Plant (former URA): SLP Program, Southern Connecticut State University
F. Sayako Earle (PhD, 2016): Faculty, University of Delaware Madison Perriolat (former URA): SLP Program, University of Connecticut
Stephanie N. Del Tufo (PhD, 2016): Faculty, University of Delaware Divya Ganugapati (former URA): MD Program, University of Connecticut
Karen Aicher (former lab manager): Faculty member, Bridgewater State University Ana Hernandez (former URA): Post-bacc RA, Yale School of Medicine
Erin Kirchner (former URA): MSN program, Northeastern University
  Gillian Foley (former URA): SLP program, Southern Connecticut State University
  Brianna Schlemmer (former master’s RA): Speech-Language Pathologist
  Maria Murljacic (2020 honors advisee): SLP program, MGH Boston
  Anders Waldo (former URA): SLP program, UConn
  Allie Romanowski (former URA): SLPA
  Corinne Myjak (former URA): SLP program, Southern Connecticut State University
  Laura Mesite (former RA): PhD Program, Harvard University
  Kristen Swan Tummeltschammer (former RA): Postdoc, Brown University
  Julia Drouin (2014 honors advisee): Faculty member, Cal State Fullerton
  Brittany Ciullo (2014 honors advisee): Lab manager/RA, Brown University
  Elaina Rappaport (former URA): SLP program, University of Connecticut
  Rachelle Levasseur (former URA): PhD program, Washington University