Areas of Study


The PLUSH (Prosody in Language Understanding, Speech, and Hearing) Lab investigates how children and adults perceive and process prosody—the rhythmic and melodic aspects of language, including stress, intonation, and emotions. Current projects include:

  • What are the prosodic similarities and differences between speech produced by people with cochlear implants vs. normal hearing?
  • Do prosodic skills predict language comprehension in individuals with intellectual disabilities?
  • What prosodic cues do listeners with cochlear implants and normal hearing use to identify a talker’s emotions?
  • How does prosody/use of non-manual markers develop in deaf children with autism who use American Sign Language?


This laboratory is directed by Dr. Kara Hawthorne.

Collaborators include:

  • Dr. Susan Loveall (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
  • Dr. Jessamyn Schertz (University of Toronto)
  • Dr. Stephanie Miller (University of Mississippi).


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Kara Hawthorne

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