By Tyler Perrachione

Mapping clinical tests of language and working memory at SNL 2018

August 15th, 2018

Terri Scott, CNRLab member and PhD candidate in Neuroscience, presented her new research on the brain bases of nonword repetition – an important clinical assessment of language skills – at the recent meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language in Quebec City. Terri discovered that the parts of the brain responsible for nonword repetition are also recruited for both language processing and working memory.

Scott, T.L., Dougherty, S.C., Choi, J.Y. & Perrachione, T.K. (2018). “Nonword repetition recruits distinct and overlapping nodes of language and working memory networks.10th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language (Quebec City, August 2018).

Talker Variability at ASA 2018 in Minneapolis

May 14th, 2018

Scientists from the CNRLab presented two new research studies on perception and cognition of talker variability at the May 2018 of the Acoustical Society of America in Minneapolis, including the results from a Sargent Senior Thesis for Distinction completed by lab alumna Kristina Furbeck. Download copies of our presentations below:

Sung-Joo Lim2018-CNS-VCWMLim, S.-J., Tin, J.A.A. Shinn-Cunningham, B.G., & Perrachione, T.K. (2018). “Impact of talker adaptation on speech processing and working memory.175th Meeting of  the Acoustical Society of America (Minneapolis, May 2018).

2018-ASA-TRTSFurbeck, K.T., Thurston, E.J., Tin, J.A.A., & Perrachione, T.K. (2018). “Perceptual similarity judgments of voices: Effects of talker and listener language, vocal source acoustics, and time-reversal.175th Meeting of  the Acoustical Society of America (Minneapolis, May 2018).

Decoding the brain in unprecedented detail

February 12th, 2018

Brain slices showing speech activation

Areas of the brain active when listening to spoken words.

CNRLab scientists are using the new Siemens 3T Prisma scanner at the BU Cognitive Neuroimaging Center to study how the brain consistently recognizes speech in different contexts. Read more about our experiences with the new imaging center in this article from BU Today.


Dr. Perrachione at the new Siemens Prisma 3T MRI scanner at the BU Cognitive Neuroimaging Center.
(Photo by Mira Whiting Photogramphy.)


Three CNRLab presentations at CNS 2018

January 23rd, 2018

Scientists from the CNRLab will present three new studies at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society in Boston in March. See you there!

2018-CNS-VCWMImpact of talker adaptation on speech processing and working memory.
Abstract | Poster
(Lim et al.)

2018-CNS-PWMDLDCommon recruitment of neural resources for phonological working memory regardless of behavioral demands.
Abstract | Poster
(Scott et al.)

2018-CNS-LAPCASLNeural responses during procedural memory tasks are related to foreign language learning outcomes.
Abstract | Poster
(Perrachione et al.)

Dyslexia Paradox

October 25th, 2017

Differences in how the brain adapts to sights and sounds could be at the root of reading disorders. Read the full story from Inside Sargent.


Congratulations to our 2017 CNRLab graduates!

May 21st, 2017

Congratulations to the newest CNRLab graduates! They’ve accomplished amazing things in the lab and here at BU, and they’re all off to great things next!

  • Cheng (Cissy) Cheng, MS-SLP
    Thesis: “Can visual feedback improve English speakers’ Mandarin tone production?”
  • Sara Dougherty, MEd; Developmental Studies: Literacy & Language Education
  • Jennifer Golditch, MS-SLP
  • Dana Gordon, BS; Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
  • Laura Haenchen, MS-SLP
    Thesis: “Noninvasive neurostimulation of sensorimotor adaptation in speech production.”
  • Deirdre McLaughlin, MS-SLP
    Thesis: “Talker identification is not improved by lexical access in the absence of familiar phonology.”
  • Alina Razak, BS; Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
    Thesis: “Who’s at the cocktail party? Effects of noise on talker identification.”


Dyslexia and the brain: A problem with rapid neural adaptation

December 21st, 2016


Our new findings, published today in Neuron, reveal that the brains of children and adults with dyslexia show less rapid neural adaptation than the brains of typical readers. Rapid neural adaptation is a kind of learning that the brain does in just a few seconds to make perception more efficient. A dysfunction of rapid neural adaptation may make it difficult for individuals with dyslexia to coordinate the demanding neural plasticity involved in learning to read.

Exploring how the brain understands sentences

October 11th, 2016

tlscottA new paper in PNAS, coauthored by Terri Scott, CNRLab doctoral student, and researchers at Harvard (Ev Fedorenko) and MIT (Nancy Kanwisher), explores how the brain extracts meaning as sentences unfold. This work “opens up new avenues for investigating the sequence of neural events that underlie construction of linguistic meaning.”

Fedorenko et al. (2016) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Citation: Fedorenko E, Scott TL, Brunner P, Coon WG, Pritchett B, Schalk G, & Kanwisher N. (2016). “Neural correlate of the construction of sentence meaning.” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 113(41), E6256E6262.

Future of Language Science

October 3rd, 2016

Dr. Perrachione presented work from the CNRLab at the Future of Language Science symposium at Northwestern University. The symposium included alumni presentations in celebration of the Department of Linguistics‘ 50th anniversary.

In his presentation, Dr. Perrachione reported new work conducted at Boston University studying how noninvasive brain stimulation can facilitate foreign language learning, and two ongoing projects with collaborators from MIT investigating how the brain changes as a result of foreign language learning.



Ja Young Choi receives Kwanjeong Educational Foundation scholarship

October 3rd, 2016

jayoungc-150pxJa Young Choi, former Research Analyst and current doctoral student in the CNRLab, has been awarded the prestigious Kwanjeong Educational Foundation scholarship for doctoral study in the Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology Program at Harvard University. Congratulations, Ja Young!