Neurophysiology in Speech
Language Pathology Lab


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The global mission of the NSLP Lab is to connect the two fields of neuroscience and Communication sciences and Disorders (CSD) at Adelphi University. The primary mission is to expand the use of EEG to understand the neural basis related to specific communication disorder and speech language therapy effects.
 ERP studies measure summed activity of post synaptic potentials from similarly oriented pyramidal cells firing in synchrony while processing information and it provides direct measure of brain activity as a response to dynamic events with a good temporal resolution, some times even with no required active cooperation. Therefore, it can complement our knowledge in the field which is mostly based on data elicited using behavioral measurement.
There are some of the on-going projects:

EEG studies of Childhood Apraxia of Speech (Karen Froud, Reem Khamis-Dakwar, Melissa Randazzo)

Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is variously understood as a deficit of movement, motor planning or phonological representations. Underspecification theory suggests that CAS may involve abnormally specified phonological representations. In this case, simple phoneme recognition tasks should be more difficult in CAS, and this would be evident using neurophysiological indices of early auditory processing. We use EEG to compare neurophysiological responses to phonemic (/ba/, /pa/) and allophonic (/pa/, /pha/) contrasts in children with CAS and typically-developing peers. We hope that our findings will increase understanding of the underlying cause of CAS, and therefore eventually improve the treatment of CAS.

Variety Switching: An event-related brain potential study of Arabic native speakers ( Reem Khamis-Dakwar & Karen Froud)

This study examines cognitive representation and processing of code switching (CS) in diglossic Arabic (between colloquial and standard language varieties in Arabic ) comparing between brain responses for lexical switches from Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) to PCA (Palestinian Colloquial Arabic)  and switches from PCA to MSA.

Lexical processing in diglossic codeswitching : MMN study  (Reem Khamis-Dakwar, Karen Froud, & Sami Boudelaa)

This study uses EEG to investigate MMN responses of native speakers of colloquial and standard Arabic (a diglossic language) to switching between language varieties, while controlling for semantic, acoustic-phonetic, and phonological variables. Participants are presented with four real-word conditions: 1) PCA words with different meanings; 2) PCA and MSA words with the same meanings; 3) switching between dialects and between meanings; and 4) switching across languages (Arabic-English). Real-word conditions were matched by pseudoword conditions utilizing identical phonetic contrasts.

Semantic processing in individuals with Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM).(Joe Hoffman).

This study examines semantic processing in individuals with Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM). Individuals with IDDM are at an increased risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) which is the most frequent complication of insulin treatment. Although the acute neuropsychological impairments caused by diabetic hypoglycemic incidents are apparent, there is much controversy in the literature on whether such episodes have any long term affect on the individual with IDDM. In this study, neurophysiological investigation of lexical-semantic processing in subjects with IDDM diagnosed early and children with IDDM diagnosed late will be conducted to determine whether deficits in vocabulary development in IDDM reflect changes in neural organization for linguistic processing in children with with  IDDM. This investigation has the potential to inform approaches to assessment and intervention in this population.

The Effectiveness of Shared Book Reading as an Intervention to Improve Rhyme Awareness: An Event-Related Potential Study (Melody Zambriski)

This study examines the effects of shared book reading as an intervention to improve rhyme awareness using event-related potential. Shared book reading is a common therapy technique utilized by a variety of interventionists, including speech-language pathologists, to improve preschoolers’ phonological awareness.  However, no studies aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of this therapy using neurophysiological measures have been conducted.  This study aims to assess the effectiveness of shared book reading as a method of improving rhyme awareness in children with language delays aged three to five years using ERP.