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.
Portia Washington is a Ph.D. student in Psychology who is interested in how both auditory and written language comprehension are affected after individuals experience brain injuries, particularly strokes. She hopes to explore the ongoing role of neuroplasticity during the later stages of post-stroke recovery. As a McNair alum she is passionate about pursuing culturally responsive questions, and serving the greater community through research. She received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2021, where she worked on syntax and bilingual processing.
Hannah Olson is the current lab manager. 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.
Matt Phillips is a graduate research assistant in the Language and Brain Lab pursuing his master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. His research interests in the lab have included non-native speech sound learning, individual differences in speech perception, and stuttering. He received his BA from UConn in 2022, double majoring in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences & Psychology. After obtaining clinical certification as an SLP, he plans on obtaining a PhD specializing in stuttering.
Ashley Lombardi is a research assistant in the Auditory Brain Research Lab and Language and Brain Lab interested in better understanding the brain in monolingual and bilingual speakers. Her research interests include individual differences in speech perception and native and non-native language acquisition. Ashley graduated from UConn in the fall of 2020 with a B.A. in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences & Spanish. After working for a year in Zaragoza, Spain, she has returned to UConn to pursue her research interests while applying for a clinical Speech-Language Pathology master’s program with a bilingual emphasis.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

 

Arden Ricciardone is a senior in the Honors Program, majoring in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, with a minor in Human Development and Family Sciences. Her primary research interests include mild traumatic brain injuries and non-native speech perception. After graduating, Arden plans on pursuing her master’s degree in speech-language pathology.
Cecelia Lickteig is a senior 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 senior 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 senior 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 senior 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.
Kim Kabulis is a junior 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.
Mikaela Puzzo is a senior double majoring in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and Psychological Sciences. She is interested in studying how the brain processes speech, specifically, how the brain is able to adapt in order to process speech after a traumatic brain injury/stroke. After graduation, she intends to continue her education and pursue her master’s degree in speech-language pathology.
Daniella Bryson is a senior at UConn majoring in Cognitive Science. She is interested in learning more about the effects of aphasia and brain imaging techniques. After graduating, Daniella plans on applying to graduate programs to expand her opportunities.
Elizabeth Teskey is a junior majoring in speech, language and hearing sciences, and double minoring in cognitive science and psychology. She is interested in how language disorders and brain trauma can impact the production of speech. She is also interested in how developmental disorders play a role in children learning how to communicate. After graduation, Elizabeth plans on pursuing her masters degree in either speech pathology or audiology. 

 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 Federico Sorcini (former RA): RA, UMass Medical School
Christopher Heffner (Postdoc): Faculty member, University at Buffalo Xinming Zhou (former URA): MS Program, University of Columbia 
Pamela Fuhrmeister (PhD, 2020): Postdoc, University of Potsdam
Lillian Mastrogiovanni (former URA): SLP Program, Southern Connecticut State University
Kathrin Rothermich (Postdoc): Faculty member, East Carolina University
Valerie Ferrante (former URA): University of Connecticut
Xin Xie (PhD, 2015): Faculty Member, University of California Irvine Chelsea Pereira (former URA): University of Connecticut
Jennifer Mozeiko(PhD, 2014): Faculty member, University of Connecticut Cristal Giorio (former RA): PhD, Penn State University
Illiana Meza-Gonzales(MA, 2016): Job in the real world! Laura Morales (former URA): University of Connecticut
Alexis Johns(PhD, 2016): Job in the real world!  Sophia Arruda (former URA): University of Connecticut
F. Sayako Earle(PhD, 2016): Faculty, University of Delaware Ashley Lombardi (former URA): University of Connecticut
Stephanie N. Del Tufo(PhD, 2016): Faculty, University of Delaware Triana Feliconio (former URA, 2020 LAB Lab Digest Editor): SLP, New York Medical College
Karen Aicher (former lab manager): Faculty member, Bridgewater State University Orly Berkoff (former URA): MS Program, TC Columbia University
Alyssa Finuoli (former URA): Graduate Program, SUNY New Paltz
Rachel Plant (former URA): SLP Program, Southern Connecticut State University
Madison Perriolat (former URA): SLP Program, University of Connecticut
Divya Ganugapati (former URA): MD Program, University of Connecticut
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