Patricia K. Kuhl, Ph.D.

Professor and Co-Director


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Dr. Kuhl’s Speech Research Lab is part of the UW Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, of which she is co-director. Her lab is on the university’s Seattle campus.

Below are details about the researchers, postdoctoral fellows, and research staff members who work with Dr. Kuhl at the Institute, as well as information about her colleagues at other institutions and her former lab members. 

 

Faculty, Research Scientists, Posdoctoral Fellows and Students

Alexis Bosseler, Ph.D.
Dr. Alexis Bosseler is a research scientist at the Institute of Learning and Brain Sciences and research fellow at the Cognitive Brain Research Unit at the University of Helsinki. She received her BA in developmental psychology at the University of California Santa Cruz and her Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Washington. Her research, which utilizes behavioral measures and neurophysiological methods (event-related potentials/electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography), focuses on the development of language and cognitive processing in infants and children. Alexis has also conducted research on the speech processing skills of children with autism with Dominic Massaro in the Perceptual Science Laboratory at UC Santa Cruz.

Naja Ferjan Ramirez, Ph.D.
Naja Ferjan Ramirez, Ph. D., is a Research Scientist working in Dr. Patricia Kuhl’s lab. Naja earned her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Brown University and her Ph.D. in Linguistics and Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego. Her research broadly focuses on understanding the brain-based mechanisms of language acquisition in populations from various linguistic backgrounds. Currently, Naja is conducting brain (magnetoencephalography) and behavioral studies with babies who are simultaneously acquiring two languages (bilinguals). Naja is also a mother of two young children who are learning three languages (Slovene, Spanish, and English).

Maria Mittag, Ph.D.
Maria is a post-doctoral fellow working in Dr. Patricia Kuhl’s lab. Maria obtained her Master’s degree in Psychology from the Technical University of Dresden, Germany. She received her PhD from the Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Finland, working with Professor Teija Kujala, Professor Kimmo Alho, and Professor Risto Näätänen. Her PhD work resulted in four peer-reviewed international publications on audiovisual processing in fluent readers and readers with dyslexia. At I-LABS, Maria investigates early brain markers of dyslexia by using EEG, MEG, MRI, and behavioral testing. In her free time, she enjoys travel and hiking.

Kambiz Tavabi, Ph.D.
Dr. Tavabi is a research scientist working with Dr. Patricia Kuhl on studies of speech and language neuroscience in infants. He earned a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology at the Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignal Analysis in Muesnter Germany with Dr. Christo Pantev. Dr. Tavabi’s research interests focus on the neurobiological basis of speech and auditory language. His research employs magnetoencephalography (MEG) to measure brain activity involved in phonological and/or semantic processing. Before coming to the Institute, Dr. Tavabi was a post-doctoral fellow at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia where he used MEG to study abnormal brain function during spoken word recognition in children with Autism. In his current work, he is looking at cortical networks underlying spoken word recognition in typically developing infants in order to develop diagnostic measures of the various language impairments encountered by children suffering from autism. Dr. Tavabi’s tenure at I-LABS is funded by a generous donation awarded through the Bezo’s Family Foundation. 

Christina Zhao, Ph.D.
Christina (Tian) Zhao is a posdoctoral fellow in Dr. Patricia Kuhl’s lab. She graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with minors in Biology and Music. The research questions that interest her most are concerning the interaction between music and speech perception and how experience in a particular sound environment shapes one’s perception of sounds.

Research Staff

Neva Corrigan, Ph.D.
Neva Corrigan is a research scientist in Dr. Patricia Kuhl’s laboratory. Neva earned a BS from Cornell University, and a MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California at Davis, with a focus on medical imaging. Her PhD studies focused on MRI data acquisition and analysis, with a dissertation on the development of a digital filtering algorithm for the removal of physiological noise from fMRI images. Over the past 14 years, she has utilized her extensive signal and image processing expertise in the analysis and interpretation of MRI and electrophysiological data with investigators at the UW in the Departments of Radiology and Neurological Surgery, as well as the UW Autism Center. Neva has worked extensively with Dr. Stephen Dager in the Department of Radiology, using innovative 2D and 3D magnetic resonance spectroscopic (MRS) imaging techniques to study brain chemical alterations associated with autism spectrum disorder in infants and children. Her interests in Dr. Kuhl’s lab include co-registration of electrophysiological and MRI/MRS data, as well as innovative techniques for quantitative assessment of brain structural changes associated with early childhood development.

Julia Mizrahi
Ms. Mizrahi supports studies of speech processing in infants and young children using a variety of methods including brain imaging technology. She recruits and schedules families for various research studies, as well as assisting the Speech Research Laboratory faculty and staff in their ongoing projects related to MEG, MRI, and ERP. She has experience working with diverse populations including infants and children residing in the United States and abroad. Ms. Mizrahi received her bachelors degree in Peace Studies with minors in Political Science and Art from Goucher College in 2011.

Former Lab Members

Jean Andruski, Ph.D., Interim Chair, Department of Communitcation Sciences and Disorders, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
Bart de Boer, Ph.D., NWO-vidi researcher, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Adrian Garcia-Sierra, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, University Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
Michael Hall, Ph.D., Professor, Director of Psychology Science Programs, Department of Psycology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia
Paul Iverson, Ph.D., Reader in Speach Sciences, Department of Phonetics and Linguistics, University College London, London, England
Huei-Mei Liu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan
Sarah Roseberry Lytle, Ph.D., Director of Outreach and Education, I-LABS, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Rajeev Raizada, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor, Neukom Institute for Computational Science, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
Nairan Ramirez-Esparza, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
Sandra Serafini, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery-Neurosurgery, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
Cherie Percaccio, Ph.D., No current affiliation
Juan Silva-Pereyra, Assistant Professor, Cognitive Neuroscience & Psycholinguistics, University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
Megha Sundara, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
Chiara Suttora, Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy.
Feng-Ming Tsao, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education, National Taipei Teachers College, Taipei, Taiwan
Yapeng Wang, Ph.D., Associate Professor, National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing, Normal University, China
Yue Wang, Ph.D., Lab Director, Associate Professor, Linquistics, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia
Yang Zhang, Assistant Professor, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota