San Diego State University

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Speech & Language Science Laboratories

Bilingual Development in Context

The Bilingual Development in Context (BDC) laboratory is located in the Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Building on the main campus of San Diego State University. The focus of the BDC is to study how two languages develop and interact with cognitive and social processes within individual learners.  Our work has clinical implications for the assessment and treatment of language impairment in bilingual children.


Bilingualism and Cognition Lab

  • Henrike Blumendeld, Director

The Bilingualism and Cognition Laboratory is located in the Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Building on the main campus. The research conducted in this laboratory focuses on how general cognitive resources support language in monolinguals and bilinguals across the life span. Specifically, we are interested in how extensive bilingual experience shapes the linguistic and cognitive systems as we age, and how bilingual language experience, language learning history, proficiency levels, and cognitive factors influence the expression of aphasia. The laboratory facilities include an EyeLink eye-tracking system, which we use to track the time-course of word activation during monolingual and bilingual language processing, as well as work stations for lab members and research participants. The laboratory provides research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students.


Language and Neuroscience Group

The focus of the Language and Neuroscience Group (LANG) in SDSU’s School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences is to investigate how we go about comprehending sentences and what that tells us about how the mind and brain are organized for language.

The LANG Laboratory consists of four separate research areas in the field of cognitive neuroscience: aphasia, language development, neuroimaging, and psycholinguistics.

Under the direction of Drs. Tracy Love and Lewis Shapiro, the LANG’s efforts are centered on the study of human cognitive processes, with a major emphasis on language processing in adults and children throughout the life span.


Laboratory for Language and Cognitive Neuroscience

The Laboratory for Language and Cognitive Neuroscience (LLCN) is located at 6495 Alvarado Road, Suite 200. The LLCN research program focuses on signed languages to ask questions about the nature of human language, about the relation between language and other cognitive systems, and about the neural systems that underlie language and cognition using a variety of methods, including fMRI, ERP, EEG/MEG, eye-tracking, motion-capture and psycholinguistics studies. The LLCN provides a rich research training ground for Deaf and hearing students (undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral). Please click on the lab link for more information.


Laboratory for the Brain Dynamics of Language

  • Stephanie Ries, Director

Most speakers can produce words rather effortlessly at a rate of about 3 words per second. However, a range of language and speech disorders can alter this ability so central in our everyday lives. The research conducted at the Laboratory for the Brain Dynamics of Language (LBDL) examines the highly dynamic brain processes that allow us to produce language so efficiently and how these processes are affected in language disorders. The laboratory uses diverse electrophysiology and brain imaging methods (surface and intracranial electroencephalography, electromyography, and magnetic resonance imaging) in healthy speakers and in populations with brain disorders such as stroke, epilepsy, and brain tumors. The LBDL is located at 6495 Alvarado road, suites 105 and 108.


Language Acquisition, Poverty, and Culture Lab

  • Sonja L. Pruitt-Lord, Director

The Language Acquisition, Poverty, and Culture Laboratory is located in the Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Building on the main campus (SLHS 219). The mission of the lab is to foster research in child language development and disorders. The disorder that is primarily studied is Specific Language Impairment (SLI). The primary research focus of the lab is to detail the vocabulary and grammar of preschool children and children diagnosed with SLI to improve the assessment and intervention practices of Speech Language Pathologists. Child language development in the context of linguistic diversity and poverty, efficacy of prevention models for “at-risk” populations, and the role of child language research in shaping public policy are other areas of research that we actively pursue.


Language Learning Lab

  • Alyson Abel-Mills, Director

The Language Learning Lab (LLL) studies the process of learning a new word in school-aged children with typically developing language and children with language impairment. We use behavioral word learning tasks in conjunction with brain measures (EEG) to examine changes in processing as a new word goes form unknown to known. Using these methods, we aim to uncover what influences the word learning difficulties in children with language learning difficulties and, eventually, how we can manipulate the learning context to maximize their learning potential. The LLL is located at 6505 Alvarado Rd, Suite 100.

Phonological Typologies Lab

The Phonological Typologies Laboratory is located in the SLHS Building and serves as the primary teaching and research laboratory for Dr. Jessica Barlow, a linguist who conducts research in phonological acquisition and disorders. The lab is equipped with state-of-the art audio and video recording equipment and computer software for the analysis of speech obtained from monolingual and bilingual adults, typically developing children, and children with phonological disorders. The primary research focus of the lab is to characterize the development of sounds, sound patterns, and sound sequences in phonological acquisition, and how this informs our understanding of universal properties of language generally. This in turn is applied clinically order to guide appropriate assessment and treatment strategies for phonological disorders.


SDSU Center for Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience

The goal of the SDSU Center for Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience is to create a framework for San Diego State University faculty and students to study brain-based language and cognitive processing and its disorders, enhance teaching and research mentoring in clinical and cognitive neuroscience, and to expand SDSU’s capability to become a leader in an area that is rapidly developing and is essential to understanding human behavior.


Speech Physiology Lab

The Speech Physiology Lab is located in SLHS building. The focus of the laboratory is to examine changes in speech physiology and speech motor performance over the course of typical development and how these developmental changes differ in children with speech disorders. In addition, the lab investigates the relations between cognition, language, and speech motor performance interact during speech and language development. The lab primarily uses an eight-camera optical motion capture system to record and transduce the movements of the lip and jaw and also uses of electromyography, aerodynamics, and acoustic analysis techniques.