LEARN Lab

News 2

Video chat data collection – for pandemics and more

During the covid-19 pandemic, we are all working from home and in-person visits are on hold. For nearly 3 years, we have been using video chat as a way for families to participate in research without having to come to the lab! We have posted our standard operating procedure (SOP) for collecting language samples and language tasks via video chat in the new Resources section of the website, with the goal of helping other scientists continue their work during this time. We look forward to seeing everyone in person when this is behind us!

Congratulations Dr. Silvia Clement-Lam!

Doctoral student Silvia Clement-Lam successfully defended her dissertation! She presented her work to a full house of fellow students, faculty, and community members in Frances Searle. Ever gracious and clever, she presented her acknowledgments slide as a structural equation model. We can’t wait to follow Silvia’s successes as she begins her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Connecticut with our colleague Dr. Fumiko Hoeft and Dr. Devin Kearns!

Doctoral student Brittany Manning recently presented her poster at SRCD!

Brittany Manning, a PhD student in the lab, presented her poster on the EEG correlates of social engagement during naturalistic parent-child interaction in typically developing children and children with ASD at the Society for Research in Child Development (Baltimore, MD) at the end of March. She enjoyed sharing her research and learning about the other interesting language and social engagement research being conducted nationally and internationally.

Student awards and honors in spring 2018

Congratulations to the many LEARN Lab students who were honored by the School of Communication in 2018.

Emily Harriott and Shelby Isaacs were selected as members of Lambda Pi Eta honor society.

Shelby Isaacs completed her department honors thesis.

Emily Harriott received an advanced URG award and Skylar Ozoh received a URG award for summer research.

Emily Harriott wins all-school award; Shelby Isaacs inducted into honor society

School of Communication Honors Convocation, May 17, 2017 [Pictured: Brittany Manning, Sean McWeeny, Emily Harriott, Dr. Elizabeth Norton, Silvia Lam]

Emily Harriott, a recipient of an Early Research Experience award and Undergraduate Research Grant in the LEARN Lab, has been named the 2017 recipient of the Ralph B. Dennis scholarship. The Dennis scholarship, named after the second dean of the School of Communication recognizes an “exceptional sophomore” across all departments of the school. Emily was also honored with the Departmental Excellence Award. Congratulations on these well-deserved honors, Emily!

Shelby Isaacs, a junior in the LEARN Lab, was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, the national honors society for students in the field of communication. Selective to this elite organization is based on academic and extracurricular achievements as well as commitment to the school. Bravo Shelby!

New Collaboration with LEAP

The LEARN Lab has received a grant from the NU School of Communication to partner with Chicago-based nonprofit LEAP (Language Empowers All People) to study the effects of LEAP’s “Beginning with Babble” mobile app on language development. We will be enrolling families with toddlers this summer in an 8-week trial to understand how the BWB app may promote language growth. LEAP is led by CSD department alumna Katie Gottfred. The BWB app was developed with funding from the US HRSA “Bridging the Word Gap Challenge.”

Summer Updates

The LEARN Lab entered full swing in the summer of 2016!

Students Emily and Kevin worked full time in the lab on several projects funded by Northwestern’s URG and URAP programs.

We are collaborating with the Northwestern Center for Audiology, Speech, Language, and Learning (NUCASLL) Clinic on a study of children’s language and brain development.

Prof. Norton and Silvia Lam presented a symposium at the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading conference in Porto, Portugal! Prof. Norton posed for a photo by the Douro River overlooking the city.

Prof. Norton and colleagues published two new papers:

in Nature Neuroscience: Connectivity precedes function in the development of the visual word form area. See coverage of the paper at MIT News.

in Current Opinion in Behavioral ScienceIntegrating MRI brain imaging studies of pre-reading children with current theories of developmental dyslexia: a review and quantitative meta-analysis.

Construction is complete!

Things look a bit spartan aside from hardworking student Emily for the moment, but we are excited to share a glimpse at the lab’s new look!  Furniture and design items will work their way in over the next few weeks. The welcome and waiting room (left) is looking bright and the student workspace (right) is nice and quiet! Our testing room is so well sound protected that we are waiting for the installation of sound-dampening panels.