ASLP Specialty Labs:
Build authentic partnerships with UNT researchers that contribute to scientific knowledge and strengthen the well-being of our communities
We support community engagement activities like nonprofit professional development, service learning and volunteerism, community engaged research, social entrepreneurship and public-private partnerships.
Participate in ASLP Research
Are you between the ages of 40 and 85 years old and suspect you have hearing loss? If so, you may be a candidate for a new study at the University of North Texas Speech and Hearing Center. To learn more about the "Impact of Listening Effort on Hearing Aid Adoption and Performance in Adults Ages 40-85 Years" and how you can qualify to participate, click here.
Welcome to the UNT Psycholinguistic lab!
Dr. Aoyama has been studying and publishing in the area of language acquisition and psycholinguistics. She has investigated children and adults who speak a variety of languages, including American English, Finnish, German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Mavea, and Guinaang Bontok. Her main research interest is to study how languages differ in phonetic and phonological aspects and how these cross-linguistic differences affect children’s acquisition of their first language as well as the acquisition of a second language (L2).
Current and future projects
Some of the current projects include:
- Consonant sequences in target words in German-speaking children
- Acoustic analysis of fricative consonants in American English produced by Japanese speakers
- Consonant sequences in children’s target words and their actual productions in American English
We are planning to study consonant sequences in other languages, including Spanish and French. Future projects are also planned for neural correlates of phonetic categorization in L2 speakers, and extending our work on typically-developing children to clinical population.
Dr. Aoyama’s current vita is on UNT’s Faculty Information System.
She also has a profile on Google Scholar and on Research Gate. Her ORCID is 0000-0002-3534-8811.
Many students have worked or volunteered in Dr. Aoyama’s lab (insert link to the “lab students file” here).
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Sample published research
Aoyama, K., Flege, J. E., Akahane-Yamada, R., & Yamada, T. (accepted). An acoustic analysis of English liquids by adults and children: Native speakers and native Japanese speakers of American English. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.
Aoyama, K., & Davis, B. L. (2016). Nonadjacent consonant sequence patterns in English target words during the first-word period. Journal of Child Language, 43, 1-23.
Aoyama, K., Flege, J. E., Akahane-Yamada, R., & Yamada, T. (2018). Acoustic analysis of English /r/ and /l/ produced by native Japanese adults and children. Proceedings of the Meetings in Acoustics, 30, 060008.
Consonant sequences in target words in German-speaking children
- Lab members: Rebekka Cassidy, Kat Aoyama
Phonetic forms of children’s first words in Mandarin Chinese
- Lab members: Yu Chan Shih, Kat Aoyama
Acoustic analysis of fricative consonants produced by Japanese speakers
- Kat Aoyama, James Flege, Reiko Akahane-Yamada, Tsuneo Yamada
Acoustical analysis of English voiceless fricatives (/f/ // /s/) by native Japanese adults and children (with James E. Flege, Reiko Akahane-Yamada, and Tsuneo Yamada). Presented at the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, May 15, 2019. Louisville, KY.
On writing processes. Faculty of Color Workshop. Texas Women’s University. May 13, 2019. Denton, TX.
Research in bilingualism and second language acquisition and its implications for accent modification (with Joy Sibley). Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention, Presented on March 2, 2019. Fort Worth, TX.
Consonant variegations in first words: Infants' actual productions of consonant-vowel-consonant word forms. Poster presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention, November 9, 2017. Los Angeles, CA.
Dr. Aoyama was interviewed by Vox for the creation of this video:
Please contact email@example.com for further information.
Brain and Behavior Lab
Dr. Sharon Miller directs the Brain and Behavior Lab where she aims to positively impact and improve quality of life outcomes in persons with hearing loss and other communication disorders by identifying biomarkers of successful speech and language outcomes. Dr. Miller uses high density electroencephalography (EEG) methods to examine neural coding of speech sounds in the central auditory system in a variety of clinical populations.
Sharon Miller is an assistant professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology at UNT. She received her PhD in Speech-Language-Hearing Science and her M.A. in Audiology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She holds a B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Northwestern University.
- Yang Zhang
- Peggy Nelson
- Robert Schlauch
- Andrew Oxenham
- Erin Schafer, Ph.D., University of North Texas, Denton, TX
- Jace Wolfe, Ph.D., Hearts for Hearing, Oklahoma City, OK
- Jed Grisel, M.D., Texoma ENT and Allergy, Wichita Falls, TX
- Lauren Mathews, M.S., University of North Texas, Denton, TX
- Neural coding of speech sounds with cochlear implants
- Auditory sensory gating in young adults
- The Auditory Implant Initiative: cochlear implant outcomes
- Attention and auditory processing in young adults with autism spectrum disorder
¥ Denotes mentored student author. The first last name of author list is the ‘first author.’ Miller, S.E.* denotes that I was the corresponding author.
- Wolfe, J., Neumann, S., Schafer, E., Towler, W., Miller, S.E., Dunn, A., Jones, C., and Nelson, J. (2021). Evaluation of a Dual Adaptive Remote Microphone Systems. Journal of Educational, Pediatric and (Re)Habilitative Audiology. Accepted 7/28/21.
- Wolfe, J, Miller, S.E., Schafer, E., Rudge, A., Moog-Brooks, B., Smith, J.,Stowe, D., Birath, A, Wilson, P., Fales, L., & Elder, T. (2021). Intervention and Outcomes of Children in Listening and Spoken Language Program. Journal of early hearing detection and intervention.
- Grisel, J., Miller, S.E. and Schafer, E. (2021). A Novel Performance-Based Paradigm of Care for Cochlear Implant Follow-Up. Laryngoscope. Accepted 5/3/21. Online ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1002/lary.29614
- Miller, S.E.*, Graham, J. ¥, and Schafer, E. (2021). Auditory Sensory Gating of Speech and Nonspeech Stimuli. Journal of Speech-Language-Hearing Research, 64, 1404-1412.
- Wolfe, J., Deroche, M., Neumann, S., Hanna, L., Towler, W., Wilson, C., Bien, A, Miller, S.E., Schafer, E., and Gracco, V. (2021). Factors Associated with Speech Recognition Performance in School-Aged Children with Cochlear Implants and Early Auditory-Verbal Intervention. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. Accepted 3/25/21.
- Schafer, E., Miller, S.E., Manning, J. ¥, Zhang, Q. ¥, Bodish, E. ¥, Fuentes, A. ¥, and DeBlaey, E. ¥ (2021). Meta-Analysis of Speech Recognition Outcomes in Younger and Older Adults
- with Cochlear Implants. American Journal of Audiology. Online ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_AJA-20-00141.
- Miller, S.E.*, Wolfe, J., Duke, M., Schafer, E, Agrawal, S., Koch, D., MacDonald, E., and Neumann, S. (2020). Benefits of Bilateral Hearing on the Telephone for Cochlear Implant Recipients. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. Online ahead of print. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-1722982.
- Dunn, C., Miller, S.E.*, Schafer, E., Silva, C., Gifford, R., and Grisel, J. (2020). Benefits of a Hearing Registry: Cochlear Implant Candidacy in Quiet and Noise. American Journal of Audiology, 29, 851-861.
- Miller, S.E.*, Anderson, C. ¥, Manning, J. ¥, and Schafer, E. (2020). Insurance payer status predicts postoperative speech outcomes in adult cochlear implant recipients. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 31, 666-673.
- Schafer, E., Kirby, B. and Miller, S.E. (2020). Remote-microphone technology for children with auditory processing issues, mild hearing loss, and unilateral hearing loss. Seminars in Hearing, 41, 277-290.
- Miller, S.E* and Zhang, Y. (2020). Neural coding of syllable-final fricatives with and without hearing aid amplification. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 31, 566-577.
- Miller, S.E*., Wathen, K¥, Cash, E., Pitts, T., and Cornell, L. (2018). Auditory sensory gating predicts Acceptable Noise Level. Hearing Research, 359, 76-84.
- Miller, S.E*., Zhang, Y. & Nelson, P.B. (2016). Neural correlates of phonetic learning in postlingually deafened cochlear implant listeners. Ear and Hearing, 37(5), 514-528.
- Miller, S.E*., Zhang, Y, & Nelson, P.B. (2016). Efficacy of multiple-talker phonetic identification training in postlingually deafened cochlear implant listeners. Journal of Speech-Language-Hearing Research, 50, 90-98.
- Miller, S.E. and Zhang, Y. (2014). Validation of the Cochlear Implant Artifact Correction tool for auditory electrophysiology. Neuroscience Letters, 577, 51-55.
- Miller, S.E. and Zhang, Y. (2014). Neural coding of phonemic fricative contrast with and without hearing aid. Ear and Hearing, 35, 122-33.
- Zhang, Y., Koerner, T., Miller, S.E, Grice-Patil, Z., Svec, A., Akbari, D., Tusler, L., & Carney, E. (2011). Neural coding of formant-exaggerated speech in the infant brain. Developmental Science, 3, 566-581.
- Miller, S.E.*, Schlauch, R.S., & Watson, P.J. (2010). The effects of fundamental frequency contour manipulations on speech intelligibility in background noise. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 128, 435-43.
- Rao, A., Zhang, Y., & Miller, S.E. (2010). Selective listening of concurrent auditory stimuli: an event-related potential study. Hearing Research, 268, 123-32.
Brain, Language, and Memory Lab (B.L.A.M.)
The Brain, Language, and Memory Lab studies how bilingualism and emotion impact communicative performance and learning outcomes. With a multidisciplinary approach, our group uses methods from psycholinguistics, cognitive science, and social and experimental psychology to examine the interactions among language backgrounds (e.g., Spanish vs. Chinese), emotion, and communicative behaviors in typical language learners and neurodivergent populations.
The B.L.A.M. lab is located in the Speech and Hearing Center of the University of North Texas.
Director: Dr. Boji Pak-Wing Lam
Boji Lam is an assistant professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. His research adopts a multidisciplinary approach to examine the effect of bilingualism and motivation on language behaviors, learning, and therapeutic outcomes in both children and adults.
- Annie Best
- Gabby Snell
- Katie Chandler
- Kirsten Torres
- Li Sheng (University of Delaware)
- Bharath Chandrasekaran (University of Pittsburgh)
- Zenzi Griffin (University of Texas at Austin)
- Thomas Marquardt (University of Texas at Austin)
Join Our Team!
We are accepting applications for undergraduates to intern in our lab!
If you are interested in gaining research experience, please fill out the application form below:
B.L.A.M. Lab Intern Application
- Lam, B. P. W., Griffin, Z., & Marquardt, T., (2020). Performance differences between native and non-native speakers on a new happy-sad executive function measure. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology.
- Lam, B. P. W., & Marquardt, T. (2020). The emotional verbal fluency task: A close examination of verbal productivity and lexical-semantic properties. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 63(7), 2345–2360.
- Lam, B. P. W., & Sheng, L. (2020). Taxonomic development in young bilingual children: Task matters, and so does scoring method. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 29(3), 1162-1177.
- Lam, B. P. W., & Sheng, L. (2020). The nativelikeness problem in L2 word-association tasks: Examining word class and trials. English Language Teaching, 13(5), 125–138.
- Lam, B. P. W., Xie, Z., Tessmer, R., Chandrasekaran, B. (2017). The downside of higher susceptibility to lexical influences: Perceiving speech in babble. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research. 60(6):1662-1673.
- Reetzke, R., Lam, B.P.W., Xie, Z., Sheng, L., & Chandrasekaran, B. (2016). Effect of simultaneous bilingualism on speech intelligibility across different masker types, modalities, and signal-to-noise ratios in school-age children. PLoS ONE, 11(12): e0168048.
- Lam, B. P. W., & Sheng, L. (2016). The development of morphological awareness in young bilinguals: Effects of age and L1 background. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research. 59(4), 732-744.
- Sheng, L., Lam, B. P. W., Cruz, D., Fulton, A. (2016). A Robust Demonstration of the Cognate Facilitation Effect in Young Spanish-English Children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 141, 229-238.
- Sheng, L., Lam, B. P. W. (2015). Slot-Filler and Taxonomic Organization: The Role of Contextual Experience and Maternal Education. Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 5(1), 128-138
Discourse Research Lab
Dr. Gloria Olness is engaged in basic, clinical, and organizational research and advocacy for and with people whose lives have been impacted by aphasia.
Not familiar with what aphasia is? Aphasia is a debilitating communication disorder caused by stroke or other brain injury. Aphasia impairs language – the language a person uses for speaking and understanding what is spoken; and for writing and understanding what is written. Check out these links, to begin to see and understand the impact that aphasia has on a person’s communication and life:
- The trailer for the film, Aphasia, the true story of the actor, Carl McIntyre, who struggles against overwhelming odds to redefine his life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF3ZaxcqjKA
- A YouTube interview of 19-year-old Sarah Scott, who has a type of aphasia similar to what we call Broca’s aphasia and tells her story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aplTvEQ6ew
- A YouTube interview of Byron Peterson, who has a type of aphasia similar to what we call Wernicke’s aphasia and is talking about his vacation activities: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oef68YabD0
Researchers and rehabilitation specialists worldwide are working together to design ever-more-effective medical and behavioral interventions for people with aphasia, based on principles of rehabilitative neuroplasticity. Often, aphasia persists even after the person with aphasia has been discharged from the hospital, and they may live with aphasia for a lifetime. For this reason, multi-disciplinary groups of researchers and advocacy organizations around the globe (such as Aphasia Access: https://www.aphasiaaccess.org/) conduct research and engage in social action designed to reduce and remove the medical, economic, psycho-social, and social barriers to long-term health and quality of life for people with aphasia, and to open doorways to their participation in everyday life contexts of their community.
Dr. Olness’ lines of NIH-funded discourse research examine the discourse production abilities of adults with aphasia, with a focus on narratives, including personal stories from everyday life. In 2018, the anonymized data collected on this project were contributed to Aphasia Bank (an NIH-funded, shared repository of clinical-discourse-research data sets), in support of advancement of global aphasia research, with the informed consent of the approximately 80 narrators with and without aphasia from a large urban area in the southern United States who participated in the project. Patterns of normal discourse variation, such as ethnic discourse styles of African Americans and Euro-Americans, formality, spontaneity, and age/cohort effects, are incorporated into Dr. Olness’ approach to analysis. Dr. Olness’ basic-research interests focus on the relationship between linguistic and paralinguistic forms and how they operate together as communicative tools for people who have aphasia: How might residual language abilities, prosody, gesture and other channels of communication operate together, so the person with aphasia can communicate about events in their life and express their stance (emotion, opinion, and attitude) about those events, despite their aphasia? When and where might their aphasia get in the way of successful personal narration? As humans, the ability to share personal stories from our lives allows us to express our identity and personal opinions to others, bonds us with other people, and helps us to “make sense” of the events in our lives. How does aphasia impact a person’s ability to “tell his or her story”? And to maintain and express his or her identity?
From a basic-science perspective, discourse research with populations who have aphasia also sheds light on the cognitive-linguistic and neurological substrates of “normal” discourse production and communicative functionality of non-brain-injured populations. The Aphasia Bank data also contribute to these global lines of research.
It is important to bridge basic research to clinical research and evidence-based clinical practice. Dr. Olness’ combined areas of inquiry are applied to the design of clinical discourse assessment and the design of intervention to augment functional communication of people with aphasia in their everyday life contexts. The UNT research team led by Dr. Olness has been collecting and analyzing anonymized data with the informed consent of a group of research participants with aphasia engaged in group conversation, with a specific focus on how people with aphasia embed personal stories into these conversations, and their degree of success in incorporating stories from their life into the flow of the conversation. These pilot data are guiding the team in the development of a valid, reliable, and clinically feasible assessment tool, so clinicians can gauge the communicative functionality of people with aphasia and their conversationalists, as they weave personal stories into conversation. These lines of research are further supported through the newly founded Scientific Collaboration on Interactional Discourse and Communicative Diversity (SciCID-CD), a seven-institution, national collaboration of researchers co-convened by Dr. Olness and Dr. Julie Hengst (University of Illinois) and launched in Fall 2019.
Also in Fall 2019, Olness and collaborators in UNT Engineering (Drs. Ifana Mahbub, Diana Berman, Mark Albert, and Ting Xiao) launched a collaborative project designed to contribute to clinical intervention for people with aphasia (Wireless Smart Vocalization Sensors for Convergent Evidence of Rehabilitation Effectiveness). The long-term goal of this project is to develop a wearable, wireless, and user-friendly engineered system that provides objective, continuous, real-time feedback to both the user with aphasia and the clinician, regarding the user’s communicative engagement as they go about their daily routine, while still maintaining confidentiality of the user’s communicative content.
For the past several years, and with funding support in 2018 from the Southwestern Medical Foundation, Josephine Simonson Aphasia Trust Fund, Dr. Olness and a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional collaborative team of researchers, clinicians, and people with aphasia have been conducting lines of research on the medical, economic, social, and geo-spatial landscape of barriers and facilitators that North Texans with aphasia navigate, toward long-term health, quality of life, and participation in everyday life contexts of the community. Using estimates of aphasia incidence and prevalence, surveys of public awareness of aphasia, and assessments of availability of and access to post-discharge supports and services for people with aphasia and their families, we are starting to map the landscape of barriers and facilitators to communicative access and life-participation for people impacted by aphasia in our community.
Prior to joining the UNT ASLP faculty in 2006, Dr. Olness worked as a federally funded (NIH) Research Scientist at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) Callier Center. Dr. Olness received her doctoral and post-doctoral training at UTD (formerly School of Human Development and Communication Sciences, and currently School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences), under the mentorship of Dr. Hanna Ulatowska. Earlier degrees were in Linguistics (M.A., U. of Oregon), and Communicative Disorders (M.S., U. of Wisconsin--Madison). She began her career as a B.A. double major in French and Speech & Hearing Sciences (Indiana U., - Bloomington) under the mentorship of Dr. Judith Johnston.
Publications authored and co-authored by Olness have appeared in Aphasiology, Brain and Language, Discourse Processes, the Journal of Neurolinguistics, the Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, and Advances in Speech-Language Pathology, inter alia. She has been invited by the organizers of the annual meeting of the Science of Aphasia (Italy), Hadassah Academic College and Adler Aphasia Center (Israel) and the Aphasia Institute (Canada) to deliver addresses and keynote presentations to global audiences on her lines of basic and applied research.
Olness’ clinical training in adult neurogenic communication disorders includes a graduate internship at the Middleton V.A. Hospital (Madison, WI) under Dr. John (Jay) Rosenbek, and a Clinical Fellowship at Northwestern’s Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC; currently renamed as the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab). She continued her clinical work as a staff speech-language pathologist in a non-profit clinic in Eugene, Oregon. Her current clinical research program involves on-going contact with and advocacy for individuals who have aphasia.
Hearing Technology Lab
Lab Director: Dr. Erin C. Schafer is a Professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in Audiology at the University of North Texas, where she has been a faculty member since 2005. She received her Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Lab Research: The Hearing Technology Lab conducts research on the assessment and (re)habilitation of adults and children who have hearing loss or other auditory disorders. Primary research areas and selected publications are provided below.
- Hearing Aids & Cochlear Implants
- Schafer, E. C., Miller, S., Manning, J., Zhang, Q., Lavi, A., Bodish, E., Fuentes, A., De Blaey, E. (2021). Meta-Analysis of speech recognition outcomes in younger and older adults with cochlear implants. American Journal of Audiology. In press
- Miller, S. E., Anderson, C., Manning, J., Schafer, E. (2020). Insurance payer status predicts post-operative speech outcomes in adult cochlear implant recipients. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 31(9). In press.
- Dunn, C., Miller, S. E., Schafer, E. C., Silva, C. Gifford, R. H., Grisel, J. J. (2020). Benefits of a hearing registry: Cochlear implant candidacy in quiet versus noise in 1611 patients. American Journal of Audiology, 29(4), 851-861.
- Grisel, J. J., Schafer, E., Lam, A., Griffin, T. (2017). Pilot study on the use of data mining to identify cochlear implant candidates. Cochlear Implants International, 19(3), 142-146.
- Hearing Assistance Technology & Auditory Training
- Schafer, E. C., Kirby, B., Miler, S. (2020). Remote microphone technology for children with hearing loss or auditory processing issues, Seminars in Hearing, 41(4), 1-14.
- Gopal, K. V., Schafer, E. C., Mathews, L., Nandy, R, Beaudoin, D., Schadt, L., Brown, A., Phillips, B., Caldwell, J. (2020). Effects of auditory training on electrophysiological measures in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 31(2), 96-104.
- Wolfe, J., Duke, M., Schafer, E., Jones, C., Rakita, L., Battles, J. (2020). Evaluation of a remote microphone system with tri-microphone beamformer. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 31(1), 50-60.
- Schafer, E. C., Gopal, K. V., Mathews, L., Thompson, S., Kaiser,K., McCullough, S., Jones, J., Castillo, P., Canale, E., Hutcheson, A. (2019). Effects of auditory training and remote‐microphone technology on the behavioral performance of children and young adults who have autism spectrum disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 30(5), 431-443.
- Auditory Processing in Special Populations
- Gopal, K. V., Schafer, E. C., Nandy, R., Brown, A., Caldwell, J., Phillips, B., Ballard, G. (2021). Characteristic deviations of auditory evoked potentials in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. In press.
- Schafer, E. C., Mathews, L., Gopal, K., Canale, E., Creech, A., Manning, J., Kaiser, K. (2020). Behavioral auditory processing in children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 31(9), 680-689.
If you are a UNT student and are interested in working or volunteering in the lab, please contact Erin.Schafer@unt.edu.