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Communication Sciences and Disorders
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Experts in speech, voice and swallowing

Researchers in CSD work to answer complex questions related to aging and skilled oral motor behaviors. 

We engage with the local community by acting as a resource for education and support for healthy speech, voice, and swallowing.

materials used to test speech motor control on clinical populations

Orofacial Physiology and Perceptual Analysis (OPPAL) Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Nicole Etter, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Visit the lab website | Instagram

Studying sensorimotor control for skilled oral behaviors like speech, voice, and swallowing in healthy aging and clinical populations

The OPPAL lab focuses on how somatosensation (touch sensation) is used to learn, maintain, and relearn skilled oropharyngeal activities like speech, voice, and swallowing across the adult life span. Additional work focuses on healthy aging voice and professional voice users.

student learns to perform endoscopy in lab

Research in Aging and Dysphagia (RAD) Lab

Principal Investigator: Aarthi Madhavan, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Studying early identification of dysphagia in healthy aging and clinical populations

The RAD (Research in Aging and Dysphagia) lab is interested in improving early identification, screening, and assessment methods in dysphagia. In working towards this goal, the lab focuses on improving assessment and screening of dysphagia in community dwelling older adults.

Additionally, we study mechanisms that relate to dysphagia and change with age, to determine best methods for early identification. At the RAD lab we also work with improving assessments in clinical populations like Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and are building collaborations to expand into developmental disabilities. This research involves close collaborations with other speech pathologists, clinicians and researchers in aging, food science, and nutrition. 

Dr. Lee prepares a participant for a research study

Speech Production Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Jimin Lee, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Studying Dysarthria, Articulatory Kinematics, Speech Acoustics, Speech Intelligibility

This lab seeks to understand why less comprehensible speech occurs by examining speech sound, tongue movement, and intelligibility. The long-term goal of the laboratory is to develop strategies to enhance speech intelligibility of individuals with dysarthria.

Research in this laboratory focuses on kinematic characteristics (with an emphasis on tongue and jaw movement) that influence speech intelligibility and acoustic variables in speakers with and without dysarthria. The Speech Production Laboratory is equipped with a portable 3 dimensional electromagnetic articulography (Wave system, Northern Digital Inc.). The system allows examining tongue movement with synchronized acoustic signals in a non-invasive and safe way.