Christine Brennan

Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences; Member of the Center for Neuroscience

Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
Room C354
Campus Box 409 UCB
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309—0409


Bio: I am a developmental cognitive neuroscientist and speech-language language pathologist interested in investigating the brain systems supporting language development and speech processing. My work bridges communication sciences and disorders, cognitive science, and educational neuroscience with applications to basic and applied research in the fields of speech-language pathology and education. My recent work conducted in the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at Northwestern University focused on how the auditory cortex encodes phonemes, how it synthesizes phonemes into words, and how these processes are affected by experience. I am affiliated with UC-Boulder’s Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS), the Intermountain Neuroimaging Consortium (INC), and the Center for Neuroscience. I currently teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. I earned my PhD and MA from Northwestern University and my BA from Southern Connecticut State University.

Lab: I am the director of the ANCAR Lab (Applied Neuroscience for Communication and Reading) at the University of Colorado Boulder, main campus. The lab’s current research aims to improve our understanding of how the organization of the auditory cortex for phonological information may differ in children with and without language-based learning disabilities in which phonological skill is implicated, including dyslexia. Research projects utilize standardized behavioral measures, experimental tasks, and functional neuroimaging (fMRI).

PROSPECTIVE GRAD STUDENTS: I supervise graduate student research in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at CU Boulder. Students under my supervision can be affiliated with other programs within the Center for Neuroscience and Institute of Cognitive Science. If you would like to work with me as a student, you can contact me directly. You should also communicate directly with your department of interest.

Selected Publications:

Brennan, C. & Booth, J. R. (2015). Large grain instruction and phonological awareness skill influence rime sensitivity, processing speed, and early decoding skill in adult L2 learners. Reading and Writing, 1-22. doi: 10.1007/s11145-015-9555-2

Cao, F., Brennan, C., & Booth, J. R. (2014). The brain adapts to orthography with experience: evidence from English and Chinese. Developmental Science. doi: 10.1111/desc.12245

Wolk, L., & Brennan, C. (2013). Phonological investigation of speech sound errors in children with autism spectrum disorders. Speech, Language and Hearing, 16(4), 239-246. doi:10.1179/2050572813Y.0000000020

Brennan, C., Cao, F., Pedroarena-Leal, N., McNorgan, C., & Booth, J. R. (2013). Reading acquisition reorganizes the phonological awareness network only in alphabetic writing systems. Human Brain Mapping, 34(12), 3354-3368. doi:10.1002/Hbm.22147

Cao, F., Khalid, K., Lee, R., Brennan, C., Yang, Y., Li, K., Bolger, D.J. & Booth, J.R. (2011). Development of brain networks involved in spoken word processing of Mandarin Chinese. NeuroImage, 57(3), 750. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.09.047