Researchers - Faculty of Humanities

Jack and Nora Canadian Centre for Lifespan Development Research

Researchers - Faculty of Humanities

Lynn Dempsey

Dr. Dempsey is a speech-language pathologist with research interests in language acquisition and children’s language disorders. She explores how and when young children develop the ability to understand the stories read to them by others and examines differences between children with language impairments and children with typically developing language in this area. She has developed tools suitable for measuring young children’s oral story comprehension. Another interest is the relationship between early oral story comprehension and later literacy acquisition.

Veena Dwivedi

Dr. Dwivedi is a neurolinguist who studies the neurocognition of  language, examining how the healthy brain comprehends language in real time.  Her research examines how the brain understands the meaning of words and sentences in particular contexts by investigating electrophysiological responses (EEG) to language processing.   This comprehension requires using information from our real-world experience as well as the grammar of our particular language.  Identifying these different sources of information, and how they interact during normal linguistic processing, is important for interpreting and treating clinical language disorders, as well as explaining changes in how the brain perceives language as it ages.

H. M. McGarrell

Dr. McGarrell's current research relates to literacy development and metalinguistic abilities in non-native (L2) and native (L1) speakers of English.  Ongoing projects include:
1) Teacher Feedback: Its Forms and Ability to Motivate Writers to Revise
2) L2 Writers Learning to Write Literature Reviews
3) Supporting Language Delayed Children through Cued Writing
4) Teacher Cognition and Metalinguistic Knowledge

Rick Welland

Dr. Welland is a speech-language pathologist whose research focuses most broadly on how communication changes during typical and atypical adult aging. More specifically, his research seeks answers to the following questions, among others:
(a) How might comprehension of verbal and nonverbal information differ between younger and older adults with and without acquired brain damage (e.g., people with aphasia, traumatic brain injury, dementias)?
(b) To what extent does nonverbal communication (especially gestures) contribute to receivers' comprehension and/or memory of the sender's message, and how might the relationship change with typical and atypical aging?
(c) How might verbal and nonverbal information be produced differently by younger versus older adults with and without acquired brain damage?
(d) To what extent does nonverbal communication (especially gestures) contribute to the speaker's ability to express his/her thoughts, and how might this relationship change with typical and atypical aging?
(e) In what way(s) do people change their style of communication when speaking to older versus younger adults, and when speaking to adults who have difficulty communicating versus those who communicate with ease?
(f) How effective are supported communication strategies when used with people who have severe aphasia, and might these strategies also be effectively used to ease the communication burden on caregivers of older people with dementia?

Barbara Zupan

Barbra Zupan is a speech and language pathologist who studies the effect of various therapy approaches on the speech perception skills of children with sensori-neural hearing impairment, particularly the effects of auditory-verbal therapy.  Her focus is on how speech perception skills develop and change following early diagnosis of hearing loss and early intervention.  Further reasearch includes emotional recognition and the development of treatment programs for adults with traumatic brain injury and who have difficulty with recognizing affect in the face, voice, and text.