CSD Doctorate | Biobehavioral Sciences

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Doctor of Philosophy

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Doctor of Philosophy

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Welcome to the Ph.D. program in Communication Sciences and Disorders

The Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders is a research-based degree designed to train doctoral candidates to become productive scholars and educators in their field. Students in the program will receive training and experience in all aspects of the research process, including conducting research studies and analyzing data, presenting and writing up research, applying for funding, and personal and professional integration into the international scientific community for their field of study. We emphasize the development of programmatic lines of research and follow an apprenticeship model; thus, students will participate in and eventually lead research in their primary advisor’s specialization area. Involvement in other faculty’s research labs is also strongly encouraged and facilitated. All of our doctoral faculty have strong research portfolios, and are also certified speech-language pathologists with research interests in diverse populations. Translational research, bilingualism and cross-language work characterize much of our research. The doctoral program is full-time.

Topics of study include:

  • The development of outcome measures and novel, theoretically motivated treatments in (monolingual and bilingual) aphasia. Eye tracking methodology to investigate cognitive and linguistic processing in acquired neurogenic disorders and in healthy adult populations.
  • The study of cultural and environmental factors that affect young children’s language and literacy development, as well as the development of school readiness assessments and interventions, with a focus on bilingual populations.
  • Effects of speech cues and treatment for increasing intelligibility across languages in children with dysarthria due to cerebral palsy and in adults with Parkinson Disease. Speech perception and production in second language learning.
  • Improving health outcomes and quality of life associated with disorders of airway protection (i.e., swallowing and coughing) by 1) identifying the mechanisms of swallowing dysfunction to determine targets for treatment and 2) developing and testing novel treatment approaches for airway protective deficits.

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Our Ph.D. Students

Student Presentation Photos

Contact Us

Contact Person: Erika S. Levy

Email: el2248@tc.columbia.edu

Research Labs

The Aphasia Rehabilitation and Bilingualism Research Lab

Committed to developing and evaluating treatment and assessment protocols for aphasia and bilingual aphasia with the purpose of providing speech-language pathologists more options for serving people with aphasia. The lab’s ongoing research involves work with Verb Network Strengthening Treatment and other treatment approaches to understand predictors and mechanisms of improvement to facilitate more individually-targeted treatment.  Additional research includes investigations with teletherapy, eye tracking, and the development of assessment materials for persons with Spanish-English bilingual aphasia.

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The Developing Language and Literacy Lab

The Developing Language and Literacy Lab (DLL Lab) researches the language and literacy development of young children from diverse backgrounds, with an emphasis on bilingual or dual language learners.  Numerous projects are occurring in the lab that:

  • investigate cultural and environmental influences on children’s development,
  • develop assessment instruments of DLLs’ language and literacy skills, and
  • develop and evaluate home- and classroom- based interventions.

The Speech Production and Perception Lab

Investigating the characteristics and treatment of dysarthria, a motor speech disorder, across the lifespan and across languages. Yearly “speech camps” are held at Teachers College and in Brussels to test the effects of Speech Systems Intelligibility Treatment (Levy, 2014) on intelligibility in English-speaking and French-speaking children with dysarthria due to cerebral palsy. In addition, the effects of speech treatment for dysarthria due to Parkinson’s disease are being investigated in native speakers of Mandarin and Spanish in Taiwan and Spain.

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The Upper Airway Dysfunction Lab

Studying the role of a novel cough rehabilitation paradigm and expiratory muscle strength training on airway protective outcomes in older adults and people with Parkinson’s disease; studying the effects of SpeechVive therapy via a telepractice paradigm on speech and voice outcomes in people with Parkinson’s disease; studying reflex cough function in people with chronic intractable cough (in conjunction with colleagues at the NYU Voice Center); testing the utility of two novel reflex cough screening methods in people with Parkinson’s disease (in conjunction with colleagues at the University of Florida); and testing the influence of biofeedback on respiratory and laryngeal measures of cough effectiveness in normal and disordered populations.

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