Brain, Language, & Acoustic Behavior Laboratory

People

Caroline Niziolek

Position title: Principal Investigator

Email: cniziolek@wisc.edu

How does what we hear affect what we say? My research combines neuroimaging and acoustic measures in an attempt to characterize speech feedback processing and what purpose it serves in communication. The overarching hypothesis that frames my work is that communicative intent defines the brain’s motor plans for speech goals.

Sara Beach

Position title: Postdoctoral Research Associate

Email: beach4@wisc.edu

I am a postdoc studying the effects of inhibition on speech acoustics and the neural mechanisms of speech-error detection in persons with aphasia.

 

I received my PhD from Harvard University in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology. My dissertation work, advised by John Gabrieli at MIT, examined perceptual processing in dyslexia using behavioral, EEG, MEG, and neural-decoding methods.

Gabby Boydston

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: gboydston@wisc.edu

I am an undergraduate senior majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders, with a certificate in Disability Rights and Services. After receiving my undergraduate degree, I am planning on pursuing a master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology.

Hung-Shao Cheng

Position title: Postdoctoral Research Associate

Email: hcheng223@wisc.edu

I am a postdoctoral researcher at Speech Motor Neuroscience Group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I received my PhD in Communicative Sciences and Disorders at New York University. My research interests focus on understanding the (neural-)mechanisms that underlie speech motor learning. I use interdisciplinary approaches to examine this topic including linguistics, speech science, motor learning and non-invasive neuromodulation techniques (e.g., tDCS and TMS). When I am not working, I probably think about what my next meal is or my cats.

Sadie Collar

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: sfcollar@wisc.edu

I am an undergraduate junior majoring in Spanish and Linguistics, with a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL). I am particularly interested in speech planning and production, specifically in second language learning.

Hannah Goldman

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: hrgoldman@wisc.edu

I am an undergraduate junior majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Psychology with a certificate in Disability Services and Rights. After receiving my undergraduate degree, I plan to go to graduate school for speech pathology.

Andrea Hansen

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: akhansen6@wisc.edu

I am a junior majoring in neurobiology and plan to attend medical school after graduation.

Ellie Kraichely

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: kraichely@wisc.edu

I am an undergraduate senior at UW studying Communication Sciences and Disorders with hopes of pursuing a career in speech pathology.

Kerry Lannon

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: klannon@wisc.edu

I am an undergraduate junior majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Spanish. I plan to attend graduate school to earn my doctorate of audiology.

Emma Meyer

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: emmeyer7@wisc.edu

I am an undergraduate senior majoring in Neurobiology with certificates in French and Global Health. After graduation, I hope to attend medical school.

Riva Moradia

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: rmoradia@wisc.edu

I am a junior majoring in Neurobiology. I plan on attending medical school after receiving my undergraduate degree.

Tim Murphy

Position title: Postdoctoral Research Associate

Email: tmurphy37@wisc.edu

I am a postdoctoral researcher working in the Speech Motor Neuroscience Group. My research aims to characterize the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying cognitive control in speech. I am particularly interested in the roles perceptual processing and speech sound representation play in speech motor control. The research I conducted while pursuing a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University investigated statistical learning in speech perception and its effect on speech production. I am now investigating sensorimotor adaptation and the role speech sounds representations play in this process.

Chris Naber

Position title: Lab Manager

Email: cwnaber@wisc.edu

I studied Psychology, Linguistics, and Music Performance at Emory University. After a stint at Epic and UW-Madison’s CSD capstone program, I started working in SMAC Lab in 2019, then became lab manager of SMAC and BLAB in 2021. I program lab tools, train students, assist postdocs on projects, and generally enjoy the art, craft, and process of making the lab run smoothly.

Henry Nomeland

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: nomeland@wisc.edu

I am a senior undergraduate student studying Statistics and Data Science. I have particular interests in the areas of speech recognition, computational linguistics, speech sciences, and dialectology.

Gabby Weis

Position title: Research Assistant

Email: grweis@wisc.edu

I am a sophomore at UW-Madison majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a certificate in Disability Rights and Services. I plan to become a Speech-Language Pathologist and work with elementary aged kids.

Yuyu Zeng

Position title: Postdoctoral Research Associate

Email: yuyu.zeng@wisc.edu

I am a postdoctoral researcher of the Speech Motor Neuroscience Group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I grew up in Chongqing, China’s 4th direct-controlled municipality besides Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin. Although I can perceive and produce the /in/ and /iŋ/ contrast in Mandarin Chinese, I pretend to have an accent by merging them when speaking Mandarin.

The central theme of my research is Words in Communication (WiC). My vision for research on WiC is that it will integrate knowledge from linguistics, acoustics, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, computer science, and network science, using behavioral experiments, brain recordings, and computational models. You can find more about me on my personal website.

Collaborators

Ben Parrell, UW–Madison, Speech Motor Action + Control Lab
Swathi Kiran, Boston University, Aphasia Research Laboratory
Sara Beach, MIT, Gabrieli Lab
John Houde, UCSF, Speech Neuroscience Laboratory
Zarinah Agnew, UCSF, Speech Neuroscience Laboratory
Srikantan Nagarajan, UCSF, Biomagnetic Imaging Lab
Edward Chang, UCSF, Chang Lab
Tara McAllister, NYU, Biofeedback Intervention Technology for Speech Lab
Clara Martin, BCBL, Speech and Bilingualism