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Neurocognition of Language Lab
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Neurocognition of Language Lab 

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Current Lab People

  • Karen Froud Ph.D

    Lab Director

    Karen Froud is the director of the Neurocognition of Language Lab, and is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience & Education. She holds a PhD in Linguistics from University College London. Her research is concerned with the neural correlates of linguistic processing and representation in normal and disordered language. She teaches graduate level courses in Neuroscience and Language Disorders at TC, whilst maintaining a wide range of collaborative research projects in linguistics and the neurosciences.

    As well as her teaching and research, Karen has led programs for clinical training and service provision in Cambodia since 2008. Click here to learn more about SLP Cambodia.


  • Reem Khamis-Dakwar, Ph.D

    Associate Lab Director

    Dr Reem Khamis-Dakwar is Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Adelphi University, where she runs the the Neurophysiology in Speech-Language Pathology Lab. Her research focuses on neural correlates of diglossia and bilingualism, and she collaborates with the NCLLab on several projects.

    As a Palestinian speech and language pathologist from Israel, Reem worked as a lecturer at Beit-Beril College and Ibilline Teachers Center with pre-service and in-service teachers in special and early education. In addition, she worked with children with developmental delays and/or disorders including children with autism and language-learning disabilities. She is a native speaker of Palestinian Colloquial Arabic (PCA). She also commands Modern standard Arabic (MSA), and is fluent in Hebrew.Reem's doctoral work was sponsored by the IASP scholarship (Fulbright), and by Teachers College, and she was awarded the Dean's Diversity Fellowship. Her dissertation explored "Syntactic and Morphological Development in Arabic Diglossic Situation" , and was supervised by Professor Peter Gordon, Professor Karen Froud, and Professor Zhao-Hong Han. Her research interests include: neural correlates of linguistic processing in diglossic situations, language assessment for children from culturally and linguistically diverse populations, and augmentative and alternative communication assessment and intervention for Arab populations.


  • Trey Avery, M.S.

    Lab Manager, Doctoral Student

    Trey Avery is a doctoral candidate in Biobehavioral Sciences and Lab Manager for the Neurocognition of Language Lab ( at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research interests include the use of functional neuroimaging and other biomarkers to measure the effects of interventions for children and adults.

    His dissertation research is examining differences in attentional networks, executive function and stress regulation in children and adults engaged in mindfulness based activities and programs using a battery of brain (event related potentials), salivary and behavioral measures. The project is a collaboration with the National Center for Children & Families ( and has received grant support from the Provost's Investment Fund at Teachers College.

    He holds a M.S. in Neuroscience & Education from Teachers College and a B.A. in American Cultural Studies from Fairhaven College at Western Washington University.



  • Chaille Maddox, Ph.D.


    Chaille is a post-doctoral researcher collecting additional data for her doctoral research using event related potentials to study different forms of reasoning. Chaille is also managing the research project with Professor George Bonanno for the lab.

  • Felicidad Garcia, M.S.

    Doctoral Student

    Felicidad Garcia is a speech therapist and first year doctoral student in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP). Having recently graduated from the Master's program at Teachers College, she has been working in the Neurocognition of Language Lab since 2010. Her doctoral research is focused on a study entitled, "The Neural Correlates of African-American English," which has previously received support from the ASHA-SPARC Award, the Vice President's Grant for Student Research in Diversity from Teachers College and The Scholl Award. This experiment seeks to compare ERP responses in African American English (AAE) and Standard American English (SAE) syntax with monolingual and bidialectal speakers. Non-standard American English speakers comprise a large majority of the overwhelming speech therapy caseloads in public schools, and this study seeks to shed some light on our neurophysiological understanding of dialectal language differences when assessing and treating these patient populations, which are very often misdiagnosed as language disordered.

  • Lauren Goodwin, M.S.

    Doctoral Student
    Lauren Goodwin is a doctoral student in the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University. She holds a M.S. in Neuroscience and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a B.A. in Psychology from Iona College.

    Her dissertation research seeks to investigate GABA and Glutamate imbalances in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to further explore the excitatory:inhibitory theory of ASD specific to visual processing abnormalities.

    Lauren's other research interests include biomarkers, clinical and translational research, neurobiological basis/neural correlates, and immune dysregulation in autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Heather Green, M.S., CCC-SLP

    Doctoral Student

    Heather Green graduated from La Salle University with an M.S. degree in speech-language pathology in 2007 and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Neurocognition of Language Lab. 

    Heather is interested in using neuroimaging techniques to identify language processing differences in people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), determine the efficacy of current ASD treatments and isolate ASD endophenotypes.

  • Airey Lau, M.Sc

    Doctoral Student

    Airey Lau is a doctoral student under the supervision of Dr. Karen Froud in the Neurocognition of Language Lab at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interest involves studying the behavioral and neurobiological basis of complex learning mechanisms by integrating multiple neuroimaging modalities with behavioral studies. She holds a degree in M.Sc. Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology from University College London and Yale School of Medicine, in B.Arts and B.Sc.  Honours Arts & Sciences and Psychology from McMaster University.

    Airey is also a Research Associate at Haskins Laboratories, Yale University, and is currently responsible for coordinating the Acquisition of Reading Comprehension Study under the supervision of Dr. Kenneth Pugh.

  • Lisa Levinson, M.S.

    Doctoral Student

    Lisa Levinson is a doctoral student in Biobehavior Sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University. She holds an M.S. in Neuroscience and Education from Teachers College and a B.A. in Sociology from Boston University.

    She is a researcher in the Neurocognition of Language Laboratory and is currently piloting a study investigating the magnocellular theory of dyslexia. This work investigates the potential differences in responses between typically developing readers and those with dyslexia to stimuli designed to evoke responses from the magnocellular and parvocellular visual pathways. Cognitive domains of central interest include reading/language development, memory and attention.

  • Dayna Moya, M.S.

    Doctoral Student
    Dayna Moya graduated as an Early Childhood Teacher in Chile and worked for three years, (mainly with two years olds). After that she moved to US to pursue her Master's in Neuroscience and Education at TC. After graduating from the M.S. Program, she started a Ph.D. program under Dr. Karen Froud's supervision.

    Dayna's research interests include using neuroimaging modalities to bridge Neuroscience and Education and understanding how music could be a helpful tool in the learning process of a second language.

  • Melissa Randazzo MS, CCC­SLP

    Doctoral Student
    Melissa Randazzo is a speech-language pathologist working with various populations in NYC. She has advanced training in childhood apraxia of speech and bilingualism. Melissa began her Phd in the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University under Dr. James R. Booth, where she used fMRI to study multisensory integration in phonological awareness skills in children with reading difficulties. Melissa is now finishing her doctoral studies under the direction of Dr. Karen Froud in the Neurocognition and Language Lab.

    Her dissertation research uses EEG to examine audiovisual integration in acquired apraxia of speech in adult stroke survivors. Melissa has received several awards from ASHA for her research, including the prestigious Students Preparing for Academic and Research Careers (SPARC) award.

    She has worked as an adjunct and clinical educator in several communication sciences and disorders programs and is truly passionate about training the next generation of speech-language pathologists.

  • Guannan Mandy Shen, M.A

    Doctoral Student

    Guannan graduated from TC with a M.A. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) in 2011, and is currently conducting doctoral research in neural correlates of second language speech learning.

    Her primary research interest is the effect of language experience on the perceptual organization of lexical tones. She's also interested in exploring different techniques of statistical analysis of brain-imaging data. She received her B.A. degree in 2008 from Zhejiang University, China.

  • Grace Kwak Wang, M.S., CCC-SLP

    Doctoral Student
    Grace Kwak Wang is a speech-language pathologist and doctoral student in the Neurocognition of Language Lab.  She holds an M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Teachers College and a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from Wellesley College.

    Grace's research interests include second and third language acquisition and multilingualism in toddlers and school-aged children.