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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 for the programs in Speech-Language Pathology and 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 lead a 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, M.S. is a doctoral candidate in Biobehavioral Sciences and Lab Manager for the Neurocognition of Language Lab ( 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 kindergarden children, some of whom are engaged in mindfulness based activities and programs (for example “MindUp”) 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.



  • Paula Garcia, M.S.

    Ph.D Candidate

    Paula Garcia graduated from the master's program in Neuroscience & Education, and has been working as the lab manager in the Cognition and Language Lab at Teachers College. Her doctoral research is concerned with the neural correlates of speech perception in bilingual speakers of languages which have distinct phonological systems.


  • 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.

  • Laura Sanchez, M.S.

    Ph.D Candidate

    Laura Sanchez was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She graduated from the Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) with a degree in School Psychology. During this training, her research was focused on the assessment of working memory in children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). She relocated to New York City to pursue a master's degree in Neuroscience and Education at Teachers College, where she studied about the relationship between motivation and attention in children, using neurophysiological methods. Currently, Laura is a doctoral student from the Speech and Language Pathology / Neuroscience and Education program at Teachers College. She is interested in exploring brain activity from adults who recently learned to read, to investigate reading automaticity attainment.

  • Heather Green, M.S.

    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 student in the Neurocognition of Language Lab.  Heather’s research interests include the use of 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.