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Davis School of COSD Research

Our Ph.D. faculty in the Davies School of Communication Sciences & Disorders (COSD) are actively involved in programmatic research and offer research experiences to students interested in learning more about the scholarly process.  As teacher-scholar-practitioners, our faculty are able to translate knowledge and skill from the laboratory to the classroom and the clinic. In addition to programmatic lines of research, COSD faculty have been active mentors in guiding students who pursue graduate theses and undergraduate honors research projects.

Language Development, Syntax, Learning Impairments

Recent Projects

Morphological awareness intervention with kindergartners and first- and second-grade students from low socioeconomic status homes: a feasibility study

Acquisition of initial mental graphemic representations by children at risk for literacy development

Publications

Apel, K., Brimo, D., Diehm, E., & Apel, L.
Morphological awareness intervention with kindergarten, first, and second grade students from low SES homes: A feasibility study.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 44(2):161-73.

Apel, L., Brimo, D, Wilson-Fowler, E.B., Vorstius, C., & Radach, R.
Children develop initial orthographic knowledge during storybook reading.
Scientific Studies in Reading, 17(4): 286-302.

Apel, K., Thomas-Tate, S., Wilson-Fowler, E.B., & Brimo, D.
Acquisition of initial mental graphemic representations by children at risk for literacy development.
Applied Psycholinguistics33, 365-391.

Apel, K., Masterson, J.J., & Brimo, D.
Spelling assessment and intervention: A multiple linguistic approach to improving literacy outcomes.
In A.G. Kamhi & H.W. Catts (Eds). Language and reading disabilities (3rd ed.).

Apel, K., Wilson-Fowler, E.B., Brimo, D., & Perrin, N.A.
Metalinguistic contributions to reading and spelling in second and third grade students.
Reading and Writing, 25, 1283-1305.

 

Spoken and written word-learning skills in children with hearing loss.

We are currently recruiting participants who meet the following criteria:

  • Children with cochlear implants between the ages of 5 years and 7 years
  • Children without cochlear implants between the ages of 5 years and 7 years

 

Recent Projects:

Vocabulary Knowledge of Children With Cochlear Implants: A Meta-Analysis

Semantic richness and word learning in children with hearing loss who are developing listening and spoken language.

Synchrony of maternal auditory and visual cues about unknown words to children with and without cochlear implants.

Phonological awareness and vocabulary performance of monolingual and bilingual preschool children with hearing loss.

Print Knowledge of Preschool Children With Hearing Loss

Effects of a word-learning training on children with cochlear implants.

 

Research

The overarching purpose of the CHLLD research is to investigate the ways language use contributes to spoken and written word learning in monolingual and bilingual children with hearing loss.

Lexical Knowledge and Phonological Awareness in Children with Cochlear Implants

This study is ongoing and is supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders of the National Institute of Health. The objective of the proposed study is to test the Lexical Restructuring Model as a potential account of poor phonological awareness in children with cochlear implants. This research tests a hypothesis about a cause of poor phonological awareness beyond speech perception in children with cochlear implants, thereby advancing the field of language development in children with hearing loss, where there is a paucity of research about underlying causes of poor literacy outcomes.

Preliminary results to be presented at the TCU Faculty Research Symposium, October 2016 and the ASHA Convention, Philadelphia, November 2016

The Effects of Adapted Physical Education and Speech-Language Therapy Co-Treatment on Concept Development in Children with Down Syndrome

This study is ongoing. The purpose of this study, a collaborative effort with the KinderFrogs laboratory school, Amanda Young, and Lynita Yarborough, is to compare learning outcomes for concept learning of preschool children with Down syndrome in a speech-pathology (SLP) and adapted physical education (APE) co-treatment model as compared to learning in each condition separately.

Concept Knowledge of Children with Hearing Loss (Graduate student thesis: Carly Miller)

This study is ongoing, and being completed in collaboration with the Mama Lere Hearing School at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center in Nashville, TN. The purpose of this study is to determine the functional relation between classroom-based intervention and concept knowledge in preschool children with hearing loss, and to identify child and intervention-level factors that improve or decrease the rate of concept vocabulary learning.

The Effects of Parent Training on the Use of Language-Stimulation Techniques with Spanish-Speaking Parents of Children with Hearing Loss (Graduate student thesis: Tirza Pena)

This study is ongoing. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of language stimulation strategy training with Spanish-speaking parents of children with hearing loss.

 

Publications

2017

Lund, E. (In press). The effects of parent training on vocabulary knowledge of young children with hearing loss. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.

Brimo, D., Lund, E., & Sapp, A. (2017). Syntax and reading comprehension: a meta‐analysis of different spoken‐syntax assessments. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders.

Lund, E., Brimo, D., Rhea, D., & Rivchun, A. (2017). The effect of multiple recesses on listening effort: A preliminary study. Journal of Educational, Pediatric and (Re)Habilitative Audiology, 23, 1-7.

Lund, E. (2017). Literacy Difficulties in the Face of Multiple Factors: Using a Team Approach. SIG 1: Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups2(1), 124-132.

Lund, E., & Schuele, C. M. (2017). Word-learning performance of children with and without cochlear implants given synchronous and asynchronous cues. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 31, 777-790.

Lund, E. (2017). Lacks focus and effort: Addressing the attention of mainstreamed children with hearing loss. Invited blog post for the Central Institute for the Deaf (https://cid.edu/professionals/).

2016

Lund, E., & Douglas, W. M. (2016). Teaching vocabulary to preschool children with hearing lossExceptional Children. DOI: 10.1177/00144029166518.

 

Lund, E., & Dinsmoor, J. (2016). Taxonomic knowledge of children with and without cochlear implantsLanguage, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 47, 236-245.

 

Lund, E. (2016). Vocabulary knowledge of children with cochlear implants: A meta-analysisJournal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 21, 107-121.

2015

Lund, E., Douglas, W. M., & Schuele, C. M. (2015) Semantic richness and word learning in children with hearing loss who are developing listening and spoken language: A single case design studyDeafness and Education International, 17, 163-175. 

 

Lund E, Schuele CM (2015). Synchrony of maternal auditory and visual cues about unknown words to children with and without cochlear implants. Ear and Hearing, 36(2): 229-38

 

Lund E, Werfel KL, Schuele CM. (2015). Phonological awareness and vocabulary performance of monolingual and bilingual preschool children with hearing loss. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 31(1): 85-100 

2014

Werfel KL, Lund E, Schuele CM. (2014).  Print Knowledge of Preschool Children With Hearing Loss. Communication Disorders Quarterly.

 

Lund E, Schuele, CM. (2014). Effects of a Word-Learning Training on Children With Cochlear ImplantsJournal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. 19 (1): 50-67.

 

People

Emily Lund, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor / Communication Sciences & Disorders
Email: e.lund@tcu.edu

Emily Lund is Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at TCU. Her research centers on the study of word-learning in children with and without cochlear implants.

Jessica Dinsmoor

Graduate Student / Speech-Language Pathology

Jessica is a graduate assistant in the CHLLD lab. She completed her undergraduate degree at TCU in the COSD department (2016). Jessica worked as the project manager of the Effects of Parent Responsiveness Training on Vocabulary Knowledge of Young Children with Hearing Loss study and completed an undergraduate honors project, now published in Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools (title: Taxonomic Vocabulary Knowledge of Children with and without Cochlear Implants).

Laura Ridings

Undergraduate Student / Speech-Language Pathology

Laura is an undergraduate student research assistant in the CHLLD lab.

Jordan Zatopek

Undergraduate Student / Speech-Language Pathology

Jordan is an undergraduate student research assistant in the CHLLD lab.

 

Voice Production and Disorders, Dysphagia, Motor Speech Disorders – Laryngeal Function Lab

Welcome to the Laryngeal Function Lab. The purpose of the Laryngeal Function Lab is to create new knowledge and expand existing knowledge related to our understanding of laryngeal function in voice and swallowing with the goal of improving diagnostic and treatment approaches for individuals with laryngeal impairments.  The Laryngeal Function Laboratory is the primary research and teaching lab of Dr. Christopher R. Watts.

The lab is housed within the Miller Speech and Hearing Clinic on the campus of Texas Christian University.

 

The laryngeal function lab utilizes state-of-the-art technology including:

  • Laryngeal Videostroboscopy
  • Acoustic & Aerodynamic Voice Analysis systems
  • Electromyography and Manometry

Recent Projects

 

Randomized Controlled Trial of Stretch-and-Flow Voice Therapy

Effects of Stretch-and-Flow Voice Therapy on Vocal Function and Handicap

An Examination of Variations in the Cepstral Spectral Index of Dysphonia (CSID) Across a Single Breath Group in Connected Speech.

Dialectical Effects on Nasalance

The Effects of Two Resistive Exercises on Electrophysiological Measures of Submandibular Muscle Activity

Measurement of Hyolaryngeal Muscle Activation Using Surface Electromyography for Comparison of Two Rehabilitative Dysphagia Exercises.

The Effect of CAPE-V Sentences on Cepstral/Spectral Measures in Dysphonic Speakers.

Use of spectral/cepstral analyses for differentiating normal from hypofunctional voices in sustained vowel and continuous speech contexts.

 

Research

 

Parkinsonology

This line of research seeks to discover how Parkinson’s disease impacts voice, speech and swallowing as a function of individual and clinical phenotype (observable characteristics). A major goal of this research is to increase our of knowledge of how intrinsic characteristics of an individual and their specific clinical profile influence the severity of voice, speech, and swallowing impairments, which we hope will inform the development of individualized and more effective treatments.

Acoustic & Aerodynamic Indices of Vocal Function

This line of research utilizes novel and traditional forms of acoustic and aerodynamic measures – cepstral and spectral forms of acoustic analyses; measures of airflow obtained from high tech and low tech systems – to investigate vocal function in dysphonic and normal speakers. Acoustic and aerodynamic analyses are important elements of a comprehensive voice evaluation and provide clinicians with measurements which can inform the process of differential diagnosis, disorder characterization, and treatment planning. This line of research seeks to understand how acoustic and aerodynamic measurements change in the presence of laryngeal impairments, and assess the degree to which clinically available analysis systems are able to detect those changes.

Submandibular Hyolaryngeal Muscle Activity in Swallowing

The goal of this research is to examine the activity of muscles that lift the larynx during swallowing in individuals with dysphagia – an impairment in the ability to swallow – and in normal swallowing. This research utilizes electrophysiological measurements including surface electromyography (sEMG) to measure the amount of electrical activity in the mylohyoid, geniohyoid, and digrastic muscles, among others. Included in this line of research are investigations which assess the effectiveness of a new exercise, called Chin-to-Chest, for influencing the activity of these muscles during rehabilitative exercises. The submandibular hyolaryngeal muscles are crucial for hyoid and laryngeal excursion during swallowing, movements which facilitate airway protection and upper esophageal sphincter dilation.

Clinical Outcomes in Voice Rehabilitation

This line of research includes a collaboration with the Clinical Center for Voice Care at UT Southwestern Medical Center. The goal of this research is to investigate the effect of voice therapy on vocal function in treatment-seeking patients with voice impairment. We are currently engaged in a randomized controlled trial which recruits participants from UT Southwestern and the Miller Speech & Hearing Clinic. Additional projects in this line of research include studies which seek to characterize acoustic and aerodynamic measurements of vocal function secondary Parkinson’s disease before and after voice therapy. As an additional contribution to informing evidence-based practice.

 

Publications

 

Watts CR, Awan SN, Maryn Y (in press).
A Comparison of Cepstral Peak Prominence Measures from Two Acoustic Analysis Programs.
Journal of Voice.

Watts CR (in press).
Treatment modality and timing influence voice outcomes for vocal fold paralysis after thyroidectomy: A recommendation for guarded generalizations from a meta-analysis.
Evidence-Based Communication Assessment and Intervention.

Joshi A, Watts CR (in press).
Phonation Quotient in Females: A Measure of Vocal Efficiency Using Three Aerodynamic Instruments.
Journal of Voice.

Gaskill C, Awan JA, Awan SN, Watts CR (in press).
Acoustic and perceptual classification of within-sample normal, intermittently dysphonic, and consistently dysphonic voice types.
Journal of Voice.

Joshi A, Watts CR (in press).
Measurement reliability of phonation quotient derived from three aerodynamic instruments.
Journal of Voice

Hughes T, Watts CR (in press).
The Effects of Two Resistive Exercises on Electrophysiological Measures of Submandibular Muscle Activity.
Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

2016

Watts CR
The prevalence of voice problems in a sample of collegiate a cappella singers.
Journal of Speech Pathology & Therapy, 1:105. doi:10.4172/jspt.1000105

Watts CR
A retrospective study of long-term treatment outcomes for reduced vocal intensity in hypokinetic dysarthria.
BMC Ear, Nose, & Throat Disorders, 16(2): doi: 10.1186/s12901-016-0022-8.

Watts CR, Ronshaugen R, Saenz D.
The Effect of Age and Vocal Task on Cepstral/Spectral Measures of Vocal Function in Adult Males.
Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 29(6): 415-423.

Watts CR, Hamilton A, Toles L, Childs L, Mau T .
A Randomized Controlled Trial of Stretch-and-Flow Voice Therapy for Muscle Tension Dysphonia.
Laryngoscope, 125(6): 1420-1425.

Watts CR, Kelly B.
The Effect of Bolus Consistency and Sex on Electrophysiological Measures of Hyolaryngeal Muscle Activity During Swallowing.
Dysphagia, 30(5): 551-557.

Watts CR, Diviney SS, Hamilton A, Toles L, Childs L, Mau T.
The Effect of Stretch-and-Flow Voice Therapy on Measures of Vocal Function and Handicap.
Journal of Voice, 29(2):191-199.

Watts CR.
The Effect of CAPE-V Sentences on Cepstral/Spectral Measures in Dysphonic Speakers.
Folia Phoniatrica et Logopedica, 67 (1):15-20.

Awan SN, Bressman T, Poburka B, Roy N, Sharp H, Watts CR.
Dialectical Effects on Nasalance: A Multicenter, Cross-Continental Study
Journal of Speech, Language, & Hearing Research, 1;58(1): 69-77.

Watts CR.
Preliminary Experimental Evidence Supports The Need For Further Research Into The Effects of LSVT LOUD on Voice and Speech Function in Children with Spastic Cerebral Palsy. 
Evidence-Based Communication Assessment and Intervention, 7(4): 139-144.

 

Watts CR.
Measurement of hyolaryngeal muscle activation using surface electromyography for comparison of two rehabilitative dysphagia exercises.
Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 94: 2542-8.

Peterson J, Watts CR, Cooper B.
Laryngeal Aging and Acoustic Changes in Male Rat Ultrasonic Vocalizations.
Developmental Psychobiology, 55(8): 818-28.

Peterson J, Watts CR, Cooper B.
Laryngeal Aging and Acoustic Changes in Male Rat Ultrasonic Vocalizations.
Developmental Psychobiology, 55(8): 818-28.

Watts CR, Rousseau B.
Slippery elm, its biochemistry, and use as a complementary and alternative treatment for laryngeal irritation.
Journal of Investigational Biochemistry, 1(1): 17-23.

Watts CR.
Behavioral voice therapy in school-age children with vocal fold nodules
Evidence Based Practice Briefs, 6: 49-56.

 

Watts CR, Awan SN
Use of spectral/cepstral analyses for differentiating normal from hypofunctional voices in sustained vowel and continuous speech contexts.
Journal of Speech, Language, & Hearing Research, 54(6): 1525-1537.

Awan SN, Omlor K, Watts CR.
Effects of vowel loading and computer system on measures of nasalance.
Journal of Speech, Language, & Hearing Research, 54(5), 1284–1294.

Watts CR, Mecham RP, Knutsen RH, Ciliberto C.
Evidence for heterozygous abnormalities of the elastin gene (ELN) affecting the quantity of vocal fold elastic fibers: a pilot study.
Journal of Voice, 25(2), e85-e90.

Watts CR, Marler JA, Rousseau B.
Qualitative characterization of elastic fiber distribution in the mouse vocal fold: further development of an animal model.
Journal of Voice, 25(1), e1-e6.

 

People

 

Christopher R. Watts, Ph.D.
Professor & Director / Communication Sciences & Disorders
Email: c.watts@tcu.edu

Chris Watts is Professor and Director of the Davies School of Communication Sciences & Disorders at TCU (since 2008). He received his B.S. (1994) and Ph.D. (1998) in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of South Alabama. His research, teaching, and clinical interests center on Laryngeal Function in voice, swallowing, and motor speech disorders. Dr. Watts has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and has presented his research to national and international audiences. Within the Laryngeal Function Lab at TCU Dr. Watts conducts his program of research and provides research mentorship to graduate and undergraduate students. Dr. Watts was elected as Fellow of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) in 2015.

Brittany Burk, B.A.
Graduate Student / Communication Sciences & Disorders
Email: b.burk@tcu.edu

Brittany is a 2nd year graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology at TCU and a graduate assistant of Dr. Watts. Brittany received her B.S. in Communication Sciences & Disorders from Augustana College, Illinois in 2015. Coming into graduate school her interests center on traumatic brain injury and dysphagia in pediatric populations. As a primary lab rat of Dr. Watts, my hypothesis is that she will want to go onto pursue a career in swallowing and voice!

Enio Deoliveira, Ph.D.

Graduate Student / Communication Sciences & Disorders
Email: e.deoliveira@tcu.edu

Enio is a 2nd year graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology at TCU. He received prior training Communication Sciences & Disorders from UT-Pan Am in 2015 and prior to that received his Ph.D. in Linguistics. He is completing a graduate thesis under the direction of Dr. Watts, the focus of which centers on articulation in speakers with Parkinson’s disease as a function of disease-specific factors.

Julie Kim, B.S.

Graduate Student / Communication Sciences & Disorders
Email: julie.kim@tcu.edu

Julie is a 1st year graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology at TCU. She received her B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Texas in 2016. She is currently conducting a graduate thesis under the mentorship of Dr. Watts in the Laryngeal Function Lab. The focus of her study is on disease-specific factors in Parkinson’s disease and their influence on swallowing function.

Maeve Murtagh, B.S.
Graduate Student / Communication Sciences & Disorders
Email:maeve.murtagh@tcu.edu

Maeve is a 1st year graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology at TCU. She received her B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from TCU in 2016. She is currently conducting a graduate thesis under the mentorship of Dr. Watts in the Laryngeal Function Lab. The focus of her study is on the effects of bolus characteristics on submandibular muscle activity during swallowing in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Matt Dumican, B.S.
Graduate Student / Communication Sciences & Disorders
Email: m.dumican@tcu.edu

Matt is a 1st year graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology at TCU and a graduate assistant of Dr. Watts. Matt received his B.S. in Health Sciences from Sacred Heart University, Connecticut, in 2015. Matt’s current clinical interests center on dysphagia and neurogenic communication disorders.

Collaborators

 

Shaheen N. Awan, Ph.D., FASHA
Professor & Chair / Audiology & Speech Pathology / Bloomsburg University
Websitehttp://www.bloomu.edu/audiology-awan

Shaheen N. Awan is a professor of speech-language pathology at Bloomsburg University and is the graduate coordinator for speech pathology. Awan teaches courses in Applied Speech Science, Research in Speech-Language Pathology, Voice Disorders, Craniofacial Disorders, Motor Speech Disorders, and Clinical Instrumentation in Speech Pathology. Awan holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario, Canada; a M.S. in Speech Pathology from Clarion University of PA; and a Ph.D. in Speech Pathology from Kent State University. Prior to coming to Bloomsburg University, Awan held faculty positions at the University of North Texas and Northern Michigan University. He has published numerous research articles and book chapters, is the author of The Voice Diagnostic Protocol (Pro-Ed Inc.) and developed the spectral/cepstral analysis computer algorithms incorporated into the Analysis of Dysphonia in Speech and Voice program produced by KayPentax. Other research has focused on the use of the Dysphonia Severity Index (DSI), the effect of thyroidectomy on voice production, and the effects of smoking on the voice.

Bernard Rousseau, Ph.D., FASHA
Associate Professor /Department of Otolaryngology & Department of Hearing & Speech Sciences / Vanderbilt University

Website:  https://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/root/vumc.php?site=laryngealbiologylab

Dr. Rousseau is an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Associate Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Research Investigator at the Vanderbilt University Center for Matrix Biology, and Director of the Laryngeal Biology Laboratory at the Vanderbilt University Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences. He also holds an appointment as adjunct member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Purdue University. Dr. Rousseau completed undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Central Florida and earned a Ph.D. in Communicative Disorders from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004. He is a recipient of the certificate of clinical competence in speech language pathology from the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association. His scholarly interests include the study of voice and voice disorders. Dr. Rousseau’s research program focuses on tissue biology, aging, phonation and laryngeal models, health care costs, and outcome studies related to the assessment and management of phonotraumatic benign vocal fold disease.

Ted Mau, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor / Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery / UT Southwestern Medical Center
Websitehttp://profiles.utsouthwestern.edu/profile/99252/ted-mau.html

Dr. Mau is Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Director of UTSW’s Clinical Center for Voice Care. Dr. Mau graduated from Harvard summa cum laude in biochemistry, then earned a Ph.D. in biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He attended Harvard Medical School for his M.D., then returned to UCSF for residency training in otolaryngology–head and neck surgery, winning three research prizes. After residency, Dr. Mau completed a fellowship at Vanderbilt University in laryngology and care of the professional voice. He joined UT Southwestern in 2008 as its first full-time voice specialist. The Clinical Center for Voice Care serves patients who use their voices professionally, such as opera and rock singers, teachers, clergy, attorneys, and salespeople. Dr. Mau also cares for people whose voices have changed due to bowing of the vocal folds (vocal cords) with age, as well as those with voice tremor, vocal fold nodules and polyps, and vocal cord paralysis after surgery or infection. The treatments Dr. Mau and his colleagues offer include microsurgery of the vocal folds, vocal fold injections, laryngeal framework surgery, and voice therapy.

The Laboratory of Applied Swallowing Research (LASR) examines mechanisms impacting healthy swallow function and seeks efficacious treatments aimed at improving outcomes in individuals with swallowing disorders, known as dysphagia. Abnormal biomechanics or timing parameters impact the ability of an individual to swallow safely. Investigation of novel and existing treatments which may benefit individuals experiencing swallowing impairment is our key focus in the LASR.

Dr. Teresa Drulia, principal investigator in LASR, is currently conducting research focused on the coordination between respiration and swallowing in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This research line examines effects of lung volume’s impact on swallow physiology and timing in individuals with COPD.   Additional research interests include identifying effects of aging on swallowing and efficacy of dysphagia treatments in individuals with neurological impairments.