COMMUNICATION SCIENCE LABORATORIES

Laryngeal and Speech Dynamics Lab

The Laryngeal & Speech Dynamics Lab (LSD), located in Wethington 106, is a multipurpose research facility designed to study the physiological and behavioral aspects of speech and voice production. The LSD research group couples basic and clinical research, allowing for an integrated approach to the study of normal and disordered human communication. 

The lab is primarily designed to study sensorimotor aspects of vocal tract systems, but the equipment setup and stimulus protocols can be adapted with minimal effort to support conceptually similar research studies in both hand and limb systems. This flexibility allows for expanded research and training opportunities for other areas with related interests in the sensorimotor dynamics of skilled human behavior (i.e., Athletic Training, Physical Therapy, Kinesiology).  Through affiliations with the Departments of Behavioral Science and Physiology, research using functional magnetic resonance imaging in humans with voice disorders and studies of muscle biology of the laryngeal system in the rodent model is also ongoing.

Social Communication and Cognition Laboratory

Social Communication and Cognition Laboratory (SCCA Lab) is a 300 square foot facility within the UK Communication Sciences and Disorders Clinic on the first floor of the C. T. Wethington Building. The laboratory houses standardized assessments for social communication and social cognition. Dr. Peter Meulenbroek is the Director of the SCCA Lab and uses this space to conduct research on how social communication and cognitive disabilities in persons with TBI affect their ability to participate in life-defining social activities such as work, family, and social engagement. Since opening the lab, Dr. Meulenbroek has conducted research on validating his assessment of workplace communication, the Voicemail Elicitation Task (VET) and developed the Feedback and Advice Spoken Task (FAST). These assessment instruments assess communication competence in key aspects of workplace discourse.

The Language and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory

The Language and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory lab is also located the UK Communication Sciences and Disorders Clinic in the C.T. Wethington building. Directed by Dr. Isabell Hubbard, the lab is focused on better understanding the role of cognition in language processing, especially in clinical populations. Through this research we hope to design brain-based therapies to treat individuals living with aphasia and/or cognitive decline or dementia. We employ neuroimaging (MRI), eye-tracking, and pupil dilation measurements to aid our observational and treatment studies. Further, our treatment studies are aimed at functional outcomes for communication. Lastly we investigate the utility and efficacy of non-invasive brain stimulation as an adjuvant to traditional speech-language therapy.

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