The Speech, Language, and Brain Laboratory (SLAB lab) is directed by both Dr. DeDe and Dr. Maas. Research in the SLAB lab focuses on speech and language comprehension and production across the lifespan, both in unimpaired individuals and in various populations with developmental or acquired speech and/or language disorders, such as aphasia, apraxia of speech, and phonological disorders. Our research is primarily behavioral and combines different methodologies, including eye-tracking, perceptual speech error analysis, psycholinguistic reaction time studies, acoustic analysis, neuropsychology, and treatment research. Research in the SLAB Lab is theoretically motivated and has implications both for models of normal speech and language processing and for clinical practice.
Two major overarching questions that drive our research are What is the underlying nature of a given speech or language disorder? and How can we optimize treatment for speech and language disorders? The long-term goals are to develop or improve diagnostic methods that are psychometrically sound, theoretically grounded, and clinically informative (e.g., regarding appropriate or potentially effective treatment strategies; prognosis), and to develop or improve treatment methods that are effective, theoretically grounded, and clinically feasible.
Our approach to these clinically-focused questions is hypothesis-driven, experimental, and informed by relevant and current theories. As a foundation for addressing these questions, we also conduct investigations of typical, unimpaired speech and language processing. In turn, findings from our research inform our understanding of how the human mind is capable of such fast and complicated processing in order to communicate with another mind using speech and language.