Academic Year 2010-2011
I’m a fourth year graduate student in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences (CLPS) at Brown University. I completed my undergraduate degree at Tufts University (Class of 2004, GO JUMBOS!!!), with a double major in Biology and Spanish. I currently work with Dr. James Morgan in the Infant Research Lab. My research focuses on the effects of preterm birth on language development.
Previous work has shown that infants born prematurely are at an increased risk for developing language delays. This is not surprising; after all, these babies spend critical periods of development outside of the womb, receiving an incredible amount of complex perceptual stimulation weeks, if not months, before their full-term counterparts. That said, little is known about the source of language delays often seen in preterm children and whether there are early indicators that can be used to predict them.
To better understand how language development proceeds in this special population, I’m running a longitudinal study to compare preterm infants’ receptive language skills to those of their full-term counterparts. Of particular interest are preterms’ sensitivities to native language patterns that are known to be important for language learning in typically developing infants. Measures of interest include sensitivities to native language intonation, word stress, and phonotactic probabilities, as well as speed of spoken word recognition and word learning efficiency. These early receptive measures are being used as potential predictors of later vocabulary outcomes.* If you would like some information about volunteering a preterm infant for the study click here!
During my spare time I enjoy painting, photography, jewelry making, struggling with golf, and, most of all, traveling.
* This work is supported by Award Number F31HD065406 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health & Human Development.