Research featured in Brain and Language

Reliability of single-subject neural activation patterns in speech production tasks.

New article just published! We looked at how reliable fMRI activation maps were from adults who participated in two simple speech studies in our lab. By focusing on a swath of cortex commonly used during speech, overlap and correlation measures were moderate to high. We then asked if they were also highly discriminable - could a computer correctly identify a participant just from their speech activation maps? Turns out you get almost perfect accuracy across 75 participants with only 1 training sample.

Congratulations to Dante Smith for successfully defending his dissertation!

Dante made the lab proud (especially Frank) with his clear and compelling defense presentation!
                                      The gang's all here to celebrate Dante!

Notice of Dissertation Defense

Dante J. Smith
Candidate for the degree of Ph.D. in Computational Neuroscience


Monday, December 2, 2019
10:00 am

Boston University
5 Cummington Mall, RM 113

(Advisor: Professor Frank Guenther)

Guenther lab members highlighted in the 2019-2020 issue of Inside Sargent

Check out the latest issue of Inside Sargent to read up on the research of two Guenther lab members, Dr. Liz Heller Murray and graduate student Saul Frankford.

Out newest postdoctoral student, Dr. Heller Murray, discusses her work as a graduate student with Cara Stepp's Sensorimotor Rehabilitation Engineering Lab.

Saul Frankford's research on speech and speech disorders, specifically stuttering, is also discussed in this issue.


Members of Guenther lab present at SNL 2019

Dr. Frank Guenther, Principal Investigator, and Dr. Elaine Kearney, Postdoctoral Research Associate, recently attended the 11th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language held in the beautiful city of Helsinki, Finland from Aug 20 - 22. Dr. Guenther gave an invited keynote talk titled “Neural Modeling and Imaging of Speech Production in Neurotypical and Disordered Populations”. Dr. Kearney presented a poster titled “SimpleDIVA: A 3-Parameter Model for Examining Adaptation in Speech and Voice Production”.

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Notice of Dissertation Defense

Scott Kuzdeba
Candidate for the degree of Ph.D. in Computational Neuroscience


Wednesday, July 31, 2019
1:00 pm

Boston University
5 Cummington Mall, BRB-113

(Advisor: Professor Frank Guenther)


Postdoc Matthias Heyne sharing speech production insights in Puerto Rico

Guenther lab postdoc Matthias Heyne recently (January 21-27, 2019) went on tour to Puerto Rico with the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble where they presented several concerts with Grammy-nominated alto saxophone player Miguel Zenon and taught Puerto Rican High students about topics ranging from Math, Physics, and Climate Change, to Computer Science. Matthias contributed presentations on the human brain including some insights from our research on speech production, and a special interest of his, the parallels of language and music. A passionate trombonist, Matthias also performs with the MIT Symphony Orchestra and frequently attends local jam sessions.

Featured below, a short video about the trip by MIT Video Productions:

Axe Throwing anyone?

After making a number of submissions to journals, we all needed to blow off some steam. Axe throwing sounded like a good idea, and no that's not a euphemism. We really went to throw axes at targets, with a little friendly competition to boot. Everyone had a great time and we're hoping to make this a regular event.


Dr. Elaine Kearney to present at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s 2019 Pathways Program

Dr. Elaine Kearney, a postdoctoral researcher in the Guenther lab, has been selected to participate in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s 2019 Pathways Program! The Pathways Program aims to mentor early-career clinical scientists in establishing strong foundations for an independent research career. It consists of two phases: an initial 2-day conference held in Maryland in June followed by a year of ongoing, remote mentoring and educational support. 10-15 applicants are selected each year to participate and are paired with experienced research mentors. Elaine will be mentored by Dr. Steven Barlow, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a leading scholar in the neurobiology of somatosensory and motor systems across the lifespan, from premature infants to adults with acquired neurological disorders.