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Research in the Speech/Language Genetics Lab focuses on identifying the genetic causes of communication disorders and on ways to turn this knowledge into new interventions for very young children at genetic risk for these disorders. We use a variety of research tools including speech, language, and reading tests, tests of motor functions, brain imaging, and DNA analysis. The lab is designed to be an interdisciplinary training and research facility. Honors students and graduate can pursue projects in many different aspects of the ongoing work.
The Speech/Language Genetics Lab is home to three lines of research: Biomarkers of speech sound disorders, biomarkers of dyslexia, and early intervention for children at genetic risk for childhood apraxia of speech. Findings so far include the observation that many children with childhood apraxia of speech and adults with such a history struggle specifically with tasks requiring rapid sequential processing; this deficit can be observed across many different task domains including reading and spelling. A similar deficit is apparent in some individuals with dyslexia. This may explain why many children with childhood apraxia of speech have difficulty learning to read and spell and, conversely, why individuals with dyslexia have difficulty with complex speech tasks. The lab recently identified a candidate gene for childhood apraxia of speech (Peter, Matsushita, Oda & Raskind, 2014).
Location: Coor 3481
Phone Numbers: Office: 480-965-4737, Lab: 480-727-0425