Student working on research on a client
Student working on research on a client
Student working on research on a client

Kathryn Arehart directs the Hearing Research Lab which focuses on understanding auditory perception and the impact hearing loss has on listening in complex auditory environments.   The lab also aims to improve outcomes for adults who wear hearing aids by considering the perceptual response of listeners to different types of hearing aid signal processing. Current projects include 1) studying the interactive effects of age, hearing loss and cognition (working memory) on how listeners benefit from hearing aid technologies 2) improving our understanding of and ability to predict how hearing aids will affect speech intelligibility and the sound quality of both music and speech; and 3) investigating how we can preserve natural soundscape perception for people wearing hearing aids including when sounds are being conveyed by remote microphones.  

Rachael R. Baiduc directs the Hearing Epidemiology and Research Diagnostics (HEARD) Laboratory. Her research focuses on understanding the link between hearing loss and cardiovascular disease risk factors including hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, tobacco smoking, and diabetes. Projects are also underway to examine the effect of cannabis smoking on peripheral auditory function. An extensive audiological test battery is used including ultra-high frequency puretone audiometry, speech audiometry, distortion product otoacoustic emissions, auditory brainstem response, and electrocochleography. An investigation of hearing outcomes in a large cohort of individuals from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos is also underway.

Christine Brennan's research focuses on improving our understanding of how organization of the auditory cortex for phonological information may differ in children with and without dyslexia. Dr. Brennan is the director of the ANCAR Lab (Applied Neuroscience for Communication and Reading), located in SLHS. Research projects in the ANCAR lab utilize standardized behavioral measures, experimental tasks, and functional neuroimaging (fMRI). Imaging is conducted at the Intermountain Neuroimaging Consortium in Boulder, Colorado.

Jack S. Damico’s research focuses on language as social action within authentic contexts of usage.  With degrees in communicative disorders and linguistics, his interest is less with a specific population of individuals with impairments and more focused on language as a meaningful and synergistic phenomenon.  His research and interests have resulted in extensive work in aphasia, language impairments in children, literacy, second language acquisition, language-learning and language use. Although he has conducted numerous experimental studies, his main interests lie in qualitative research methodologies and the extent to which they can inform language learning and language usage in clinical, educational, and second language contexts.  Within these areas, he has several current projects and several others being initiated in the Colorado area. For more information visit Jack Damico’s Researchgate Profile.

Allison Hilger directs the CO Motor Speech Lab which investigates how motor plans for speech production are executed, and how this process becomes impaired in neurological disorders. One of the main aims in the lab is to study how speech naturalness and prosody are disrupted in dysarthria. The goal is to eventually develop a treatment technique that will help improve or maintain speech naturalness in dysarthria. Additionally, the lab is investigating how aerosol generation is influenced by speech production, and the impact of this on the transmission of airborne virus. Overall, the lab is interested in aspects of speech physiology, vocal acoustics, and motor speech disorders.

Pui Fong Kan directs the Child Language Learning Lab.  Dr. Kan’s research focuses on child language learning, language disorders, and bilingualism. Her research examines the cognitive and language processing in monolingual and bilingual children. Specifically, she examines the roles of language experience and cognitive processing ability in language learning.  Her current projects investigate: 1) the language input of children who are exposed a minority language (L1) at home and start to learn a second language (L2) in school settings; 2) the growth curves of bilingual children’s vocabulary development in L1 and in L2; 3) the word learning processes in typically-developing bilingual children and bilingual children with language impairments.

Christina Meyers-Denman directs the Improving Treatment Outcomes for Young Speakers (iTOYS) Lab.  Her research focuses on improving treatment outcomes for young children with developmental language disorders as well as enhancing prevention and detection of communication delays and disorders. Her overarching goal is to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of therapy provided by SLPs and parents to foster better outcomes for children who struggle with language learning. 

Anu Sharma directs the Brain and Behavior Laboratory.  Her research focuses on examining cortical re-organization and neuroplasticity as a result of auditory deprivation in children and adults with hearing loss. She uses cortical auditory evoked potentials, high-density EEG and other brain imaging techniques in conjunction with behavioral experiments.  Current projects include: 1) Examining cross-modal cortical re-organization (in which other sensory modalities such as vision and somatosensation recruit auditory areas for processing) in children and adults with hearing loss, cochlear implants and hearing aids; 2) Examining the relationship between brain changes in age-related hearing loss and cognition; 3) Examining sensitive periods for cortical development in deaf children who are fitted with cochlear implants; 4) Understanding brain development in children with Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD) and how it relates to outcomes; 5) Developing clinical biomarkers of central auditory processing and development; 6) Exploring the use of tele-medicine in audiology and related fields.