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Loraine K. Obler, Ph.D. (CV)
In addition to her position in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Loraine K. Obler has a joint appointment in the Linguistics Program. As well, she and Martin Albert are co-PIs of the NIH-funded Language in the Aging Brain Laboratory of the Boston University School of Medicine Harold Goodglass Aphasia Research Center at the VA Boston Healthcare Center. Her research articles reflect her interests in such topics as the language changes associated with healthy aging and Alzheimer's disease, neurolinguistic study of bilingualism, cross-language study of agrammatism, and neuropsychology of talent as it relates to dyslexia and individual differences in second-language acquisition. The books she has co-authored or co-edited include Aspects of Multilingual Aphasia (with M. Gitterman and M. Goral, Multilingual Matters, 2012), Communication Disorders in Spanish Speakers: Theoretical Research and Clinical Aspects (with J. Centeno and R. Anderson, Multilingual Matters, 2007), Language and the Brain (with K. Gjerlow, Cambridge University Press, 1999), Language and Communication in the Elderly (with M.L. Albert, D.C. Heath and Co., 1980), Neurobehavior of Language and Cognition: Studies of Normal Aging and Brain Damage (with L. Connor, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000), and The Bilingual Brain: Neuropsychological and Neurolinguistic Aspects of Bilingualism (with M.L. Albert, Academic Press, 1978).

Graduate Students

Peggy Conner
¡Hola! As a bilingual speech-language therapist I feel privileged to be honing my skills in Dr. Loraine Obler's Neurolinguistics Lab, learning from such talented colleagues who come from diverse and many from multilingual backgrounds. My training and ASHA certification in speech-language pathology began at Ithaca College and continued at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The years I studied and worked abroad in Venezuela, Colombia, Chile and England helped broaden my perspective on languages and cultures. Now, at the doctoral level, the research focus of my dissertation is verbal word learning and dyslexia. In addition, topics that interest me include language in aging, aphasia, second language acquisition, brain organization in bilinguals, and lexical access and retrieval. I welcome the opportunity to network with colleagues who have mutual research interests.

JungMoon Hyun
JungMoon is currently a doctoral student in the Speech-Language-Hearing Science Department. She received her Master of Science Degree in Speech and Language Pathology from Yonsei University, South Korea.  She has practiced as a speech pathologist in neurology and rehabilitation centers for adult patients with speech, language and swallowing difficulties.
Her main areas of research interest are in bilingualism, as well as language and brain changes in normal aging and neurogenic disorders. These interests drove her to join the Neurolinguistics Lab (PI. Loraine Obler) in the Graduate Center and Language in the Aging Brain Lab (PIs, Loraine Obler and Martin Albert) at the Boston University School of Medicine. She is currently working on several research projects including her dissertation, which investigates the relationship between longitudinal decline of brain volume and performance on language tasks in normal older adults.

Avanthi Paplikar
I am Avanthi Paplikar ( I completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from JSS Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore, India. I am a Level II doctoral student in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the Graduate Center, CUNY. I am glad that I am working in Dr. Loraine K. Obler’s Neurolinguistics Laboratory.

My current projects are:
1. Functional communication and language mixing in bilingual/trilingual individuals with aphasia.
2. Discourse analysis in bilingual individuals with aphasia.
3. The "Language in the Aging Brain" project to investigate the noun and verb retrieval in discourse in healthy older adults.

My other research interests include second language acquisition, language changes in older adults, neural correlates of semantic, phonological and prosodic aspects in aphasia, executive functioning in aphasia, language interference in individuals with aphasia and effects of yoga in singers. I welcome the opportunity to learn new things and to be involved in more and more research activities with Dr. Obler and my dear colleagues.

YoungMi Park
Youngmi Park, M.S. CCC-SLP, is a doctoral candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is a speech-language pathologist who has worked with people with neurogenic communication disorders and dysphagia. She also teaches undergraduate courses and supervises student clinicians at Lehman College, CUNY.
Her primary research interests include sentence comprehension, bilingualism, agrammatism, and the efficacy of aphasia therapy. Her dissertation is focused on effects of syntactic ambiguity and contextual information on on-line sentence processing in aging using eye-tracking methods. Ms. Park is also interested in the production of different verb types in people with non-fluent aphasia, changes of verb production patterns after aphasia therapy, and cross-linguistic generalization in bilingual aphasia.


JungMee Yoon
General research interest:
Executive functions/working memory
Language and cognitive change across lifespan
Developmental & acquired language disorders in bilingualism

Dissertation project: Interference control and lexical retrieval in bilingual speakers

Second-level project: The effect of plausibility on sentence
comprehension and its relation to executive functions in healthy

Amy Vogel
I am currently a level 2 doctoral student. I am interested in the effect of neural plasticity and cognitive reserve on lexical processing in healthy and diseased aging. My current research is looking at whether a generalization effect can be seen when mechanisms specific to language are strengthened and improved as a result of rigorous training. Additionally, I am interested in the interaction between cognitive and linguistic processes. To that end, I am involved in a research collaboration, the goal of which is to understand the underlying cognitive mechanisms necessary for lexical retrieval.

Sameer Ashaie
My name is Sameer Ashaie and I am a level II doctoral student in the Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences Department at the CUNY Graduate Center. Before joining Dr. Obler’s Neurolinguistic’s Lab, I was a doctoral candidate in the Linguistics Department at the CUNY Graduate Center investigating vowel nasalization in Hindi/Urdu.

My main areas of interest are language in the aging brain and bilingualism, more specifically, how illiteracy/minimal education impact language (e.g., lexical retrieval) in healthy older adults and individuals with Alzheimer's Disease. Furthermore, I am also interested in how literacy and bilingualism serve as contributors for cognitive reserve, which might act to delay the onset of Alzheimer's Disease.

Eve Higby
I am a 1st level doctoral student in the Neurolinguistics Lab, focusing on bilingualism, and a Science Fellowship receipient. My primary interests include bilingual language processing, cross-linguistic interference, first language attrition, second language acquisition, multilingualism, and talented language learners. My current projects include lexical retrieval in trilinguals, first language attrition in sentence comprehension, lexical retrieval in healthy older adults, complex sentence comprehension in monolinguals, non-native vowel discrimination in Spanish-English bilinguals, and proficiency effects on bilingual advantages and disadvantages. I also work in the Developmental Neurolinguistics Lab in the same department under the direction of Valerie Shafer.

Jungna Kim
Jungna Kim is currently a Ph.D. student in the Neurolinguistics lab with Dr. Obler in the Speech, Language, and Hearing program with an Enhanced Chancellor's Fellowship.

Her research interests mainly lie in the relationship between bilingualism and cognition in the brain, in particular, how bilingualism is affected by cognitive abilities, such as working memory and executive functions.

She is actively participating in three research projects, including the training effect of working memory on second language processing for her first exam project. She is also involved in a project where a language comprehension test is reviewed for a test norm and reliability. Moreover, Jungna has worked with Dr. Obler in writing a review paper and researching the effect of advanced executive functions for recovering from aphasia.

Previously, she received her Bachelor's degree in French and English linguistics from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Korea and Master's degrees in Applied Linguistics at Indiana University at Bloomington and Teachers College at Columbia University. She focused not only on second language acquisition, but also on second language assessment during her master's studies.

In the future, she is hoping to devote her whole life to developing the field of Neurolinguistics and teaching those who want to understand language and the brain.

Chiashin Shih
Hi, my name is Chiashin Shih. I received my post-graduate trainings in Applied Linguistics from University of Massachusetts, Boston and in cognitive science from University College London (UCL). Prior to my doctoral studies at GC, I was a research assistant in the Magnetoencephalography (MEG) laboratory in Academia Sinica (Taiwan).  My area of interest is auditory perception and plasticity in language acquisition across the life span using electrophysiological measures, particulary in the acquisition of lexical tones in Mandarin Chinese. I am also interested in recovery patterns in bilingual aphasia and Chinese agrammatism.  It's been a great experience and truly an honor working in Dr. Obler's lab and getting involved in various projects, study groups, talks, and seminars.

Katherine Dawson
Katherine Dawson is currently a 1st level doctoral student in the Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences program. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Bath (UK) in Applied Biology and worked in neuroscience research and the charity sector before entering the program. Katherine is primarily in the Speech Production lab but also attends the Neurolinguistics lab as her interests encompass research in both. Her current focus is speech production and language in aging and degenerative neurological conditions. She is also interested in speech perception mechanisms and language acquisition in infants.


Visiting Scholars

Alexandre Nikolaev
Alexandre Nikolaev is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Eastern Finland. His research topic is deterioration of language in Finnish speakers with Alzheimer’s disease. In fall semester 2012 Alexandre joined the Neurolinguistics Lab as a visiting scholar at the Graduate Center.



Visiting Scholars in residence at GSUC Neurolinguistics Lab


2013 Zohar Eviatar, Haifa University (invited)
2012 Alexandre Nikolaev (post-doc, U. of Joensuu)
2011-12 Jet Vonk, University of Groningen
2010-11 Carmit Altman, Bar Ilan University, Mina Hwang, Dankook University
2009 Veronica Morena, University of Valencia
2006 Anat Stavans, Hebrew University and Beit Beryl College, Israel.
2005 – 2008 Seija Pekkala, Helskini University, Finland
2004 Alessandra Riccardi, Universita per Stranieri, Perugia, Italy; Ruth Berman, Tel Aviv University, Israel; Anne Aimola Davies, Australian National University
2003 Jessica Cancila, Universita per Stranieri, Perugia, Italy
2001 Prathibha Karanth, Shetty Institute, Mangalore, India
1987 Pirkko Kukkonen, Helsinki University, Finland


Graduates, their dissertations, and current affiliations

O’Connor Wells, B. (2011) “Frequency, Form-Regularity and Semantic Effects in Agrammatism:  Evidence from Spanish Ser and Estar"

Datta, H. (2010) “Brain Bases of First Language Attrition in Bengali-English Speakers”, Molloy College

Anema, I. (2008) “The Relationship between Fluency-based Suprasegmentals and Comprehension in Oral and Silent Reading in Dutch Speakers of English”, SUNY New Paltz

Signorelli, T. (2008) “Working Memory in Simultaneous Interpreters”, Marymount Manhattan College

Ijalba, E. (2007) “Markers of Dyslexia in Spanish-Speakers who Report Severe Difficulties Learning English”, Queens College, CUNY

Neumann, Y. (2007) “An Electrophysiological Investigation of the Effects of Age on the Time Course of Segmental and Syllabic Encoding during Implicit Picture Naming in Healthy Younger and Older Adults”, Queens College, CUNY

Galletta, E. (2003) “Recognition of Accented English in Advancing Age”, Hunter college, CUNY

Mathews, P. (2003) “Derivational Morphology in Agrammatic Aphasia:  A Reading-aloud Study”

Schmidt, B. (2003) “The Relation between Oral Reading and Silent Reading Comprehension Skill”, Molloy College, Chair

Haravon, A. (2002) “Grounding Communication Between Deaf and Hearing People: Technological Advances”

Jones, J. (2002) “Agrammatism in a Bidialectal Speaker of AAVE and SAE”

Goral, M. (2001) “Lexical Access and Language Proficiency of Trilingual Speakers”, Lehman College, CUNY

Wiener, D. (2000) “Mechanisms of Inhibition in Wernicke’s Aphasia”

Meth, M. (1998) "The Influence of Verb Stem Features on Inflected Word Production in Patients with Agrammatic Aphasia"

Chobor, K. (1996) "Processing of Lexical Ambiguity by Brain Damaged Patients"

Centeno, J. (1996) "Use of Verb Inflections in the Oral Expression of Agrammatic Spanish speaking Aphasics", St. John's University, Chair

Eng Huie, N. (1994) "Dissolution of Lexical Tone in Chinese Speaking Aphasics", Hunter College, CUNY

De Santi, S. (1992) "Automatic Speech in Alzheimer's Dementia" , General Electric

Johnson, K. (1991) "Metalinguistic Abilities in Literate Adults"

Domingo, R. A. (1991) "The Influence of Setting and Interlocutor on the Ability of Adult Retarded Speakers to Exhibit Control in an Instructional Context"

Mahecha, N.R. (1990) "The Perception of Code Switching Cues by Spanish English Bilinguals"

Bloom, R. (1990) "Dissolution of Discourse in Patients with Unilateral Brain Damage", Hofstra College, Acting Dean

Ehrlich, J. (1989) "Influence of Structure on the Content of Oral Narrative in Adults with Dementia of Alzheimer's Type"

Humes Bartlo, M. (1988) "Neuropsychological Substrates of Success and Failure in Childhood Second Language Learning"