Academics
Areas of Study

Overview

The Space and Language Lab focuses research on the following areas:

Speech acoustics in aphasia

Speech and language improvement in the chronic stage of aphasia can be incremental and difficult to quantify. Assessment frequently targets word or phrase-level language production in structured tasks, in which improvement is relatively easy to quantify (e.g. correct verb produced).

Spontaneous speech, meanwhile, is notoriously difficult and time-consuming to analyze, particularly in individuals with language and speech impairments, such as aphasia.

We are examining semi-automatic analysis of acoustic features of elicited and spontaneous speech in individuals with aphasia as objective and quantifiable measures of production fluency, which may help us estimate the effects of speech-language therapy despite the diversity in characteristics of aphasia.

Intensive language therapy for aphasia

Restorative, intensive language therapy focuses on the practice of explicit communication acts in naturalistic activities. Intensive motor therapies for improvement in limb function have included a home component that increases functional gains.

The current study examines the contribution of a home component to language recovery in adults with chronic aphasia undergoing intensive language therapy.

Functional impact of spatial neglect

Spatial neglect is a common disorder following stroke; it impairs the ability to respond or orient to stimuli on the contralesional side of the body, causing functional disability and leading to poor patient outcomes.

We are interested in identifying clinical indicators and co-morbidities associated with spatial neglect in order to improve diagnosis and treatments.

Facilities

Language assessment, therapy, and audio recording take place with pro audio recording and signal processing equipment. Software for speech and language analysis includes Sound Analysis Pro 2011, Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (SALT), and Praat.

People

The laboratory is directed by Dr. Kristen Maul.

Collaborators include:

  • Dr. Mira Goral (Neurolinguistics Laboratory, Lehman College, CUNY)
  • Dr. A.M. Barrett (Stroke Rehabilitation Research Laboratory, Kessler Foundation Research Center, New Jersey Medical School)
  • Dr. Ofer Tchernichovski (Laboratory of Vocal Learning, Hunter College, CUNY)
  • Yconne Segismundo (M.S. 2017; examining the effect of “homework” on response to intensive aphasia therapy in individuals with non-fluent aphasia)
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Space and Language Lab

Kristen Maul

(202) 651-5326

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