2019 Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium

2019 Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium


The Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium (BSMCS) is a regional conference aimed at providing an accessible and inclusive environment for those near the Boston area to share research involving speech motor control. We also welcome people from outside the greater Boston area – join us for the one-day event, or make a plan for a summer vacation in Boston! We hope that BSMCS will be a great opportunity to bring together students, researchers, and clinicians from the numerous subfields within speech motor control to ultimately highlight new research within these areas, generate new research ideas, and foster faster clinical translation of important findings. This is a one-day conference, with a pre-conference tutorial specifically aimed at trainees (students and post-docs). The conference is sponsored by  Boston University’s Sargent College, Delsys, and the NIDCD via an R13 Conference Grant. We have been approved to provide 0.55 ASHA CEUs (intermediate level; professional area).

Key Dates

January 01, 2019: Abstract and travel fellowship submission opens
March 12, 2019: Registration opens
March 20, 2019: Abstract and travel fellowship submission deadline
April 08, 2019: Authors and travel fellowship recipients notified
April 22, 2019: Early registration deadline
May 22, 2019: Late registration deadline
June 20, 2019: Pre-conference tutorial for trainees
June 21, 2019: Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium

Invited Speakers

Jessica-Huber Keynote Speaker: Jessica Huber, PhD, CCC-SLP
Professor of Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences at Purdue University
Faculty Associate of the Center on Aging and the Life Course
Jessica Huber is the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Purdue University. She is also a professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Science, with a research program focused on the conditions that change in speech and cognitive ability in older adults with and without Parkinson’s disease. As a result of this research, Dr. Huber has helped to create a device, SpeechVive, which helps to mitigate the effects of Parkinson’s Disease on the voice by bypassing a reflex pathway of the voice that becomes impaired in those with cognitive and sensory impairments. Through her research efforts, Dr. Huber has also been able to become one of the co-directors of Purdue’s Center for Study of Brain, Behavior, and NeuroRehabilitation (CEREBBRAL). CEREBBRAL is an interdisciplinary research center that integrates psychology and the speech, language, and hearing sciences to better understand the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as ways to improve the quality of life in those who have them.
Niziolek_Carrie Carrie Niziolek, PhD
Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Carrie Niziolek is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she uses neuroimaging techniques and auditory measures to study auditory, somatosensory, and proprioceptive feedback of speech. Located in University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Brain, Language, Acoustic & Behavior (BLAB) Laboratory, Dr. Niziolek’s research focuses on investigating speech feedback processing in the brain to determine how communicative intent influences the brain’s motor plans.
Ludo Max Ludo Max, PhD, CCC-SLP
Associate Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences at University of Washington
Adjunct Associate Professor of Bioengineering
Adjunct Associate Professor of Linguistics
Ludo Max is an Assistant Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Washington, as well as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Bioengineering and an Adjunct Professor of Linguistics. He is also the principal investigator of the Laboratory for Speech Physiology and Motor Control (Max Lab), where he has investigated both the sensorimotor control and underlying actions of normal speech production and the neuromotor and neurophysiological mechanisms that cause stuttering. Dr. Max’s current research focuses on speech and non-speech sensorimotor adaptation of non-stuttering subjects, as well as comparing speech and non-speech movements of stuttering adults against those without a stutter.
Joe-Perkell Joseph Perkell, PhD, DMD
Senior Research Scientist of Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences at Boston University
Research Affiliate to the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at MIT
Joseph Perkell is a Senior Research Scientist in the Dept. of Speech, Language, and Hearing Science here at Boston University, as well as a Research Affiliate in the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT. His research at MIT was centered around speech kinematics, the role of hearing and auditory and somatosensory feedback on speech motor control, physiological constraints on articulatory movements and motor control strategies. Dr. Perkell’s research has also focused on the effects of cochlear implants and hearing loss on speech production and mechanisms underlying vocal hyperfunction in voice production.
Kristina-Simonyan Kristina Simonyan, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School
Director of Laryngology Research at Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Kristina Simonyan is an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Harvard University Medical School, as well as the Director of Laryngology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and an Associate Neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is also the principal investigator of the Dystonia and Speech Motor Control Laboratory. Dr. Simonyan’s research is focused on focal dystonia, with her current research involving the discovery of neural markers for laryngeal dystonia and new treatment options for it.
Bhawna Shiwani, MS
Research Engineer at Delsys Inc.
Bhawna Shiwani is a Research Engineer at Delsys Inc. She obtained her B.E. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, India in 2012; and M.S. in Robotics Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA in 2017. She was previously employed by Cadence Design Systems, Noida, India where she worked as a Member of Technical Staff in Analog Design Environment team. At Delsys she collaborates with the research team to design signal processing and artificial intelligence algorithms for neural interface development.


Registration opening day: 12 March 2019
Early registration deadline: 22 April 2019
Late registration deadline: 22 May 2019

Registration for the 2019 Boston Speech Motor Symposium is now closed. Questions regarding registration should be directed to the BSMCS organizing committee (bsmcs@bu.edu).

Note: All refunds will be processed three weeks prior to the symposium date and will subtract a 20% of the registration cost for administration fee.

Information for Presenters

Poster presentations

Posters should be 36″ wide by 42″ tall. Please note that this is in portrait orientation, NOT landscape!

To be considered for a Poster Award, please email a PDF of your poster to bsmcs@bu.edu by 9:00 am, Tuesday June 18th.

See BSMCS 2019’s poster presentations here.

See BSMCS 2019’s poster award winners here.

Podium presentations

For podium presentations, please bring your presentation slides on a USB drive or email them to bsmcs@bu.edu. Slides can be uploaded to the computer between 8:30 am – 8:45 am or during the coffee break prior to your presentation. 

Travel Fellowships

See this year’s travel fellowship awardees here.

BSMCS Inclusion Policy

The Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium strives to be an inclusive event for all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or physical ability. If at any time you have any immediate or urgent concerns about safety, please contact Boston University Police at 617-353-2121 or Boston University Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center (SARP) at 617-353-3575. If you have any comments or concerns throughout the symposium, please contact us at bsmcs@bu.edu.

Symposium Agenda

To tweet during the conference please use: #2019BSMCS

Thursday, 20th of June 2019
  3:30 PM Trainee meet-and-greet for students and postdoctoral researchers SAR101
  4:00 PM Tutorial: Frank Guenther, Ph.D., Boston University
Introduction to the DIVA Model
  6:00 PM Adjourn SAR101
Friday, 21st of June 2019
  7:30 AM Poster set up CILSE101
  8:30 AM Registration SAR101
  8:45 AM Conference Opening SAR101
  9:00 AM Invited Talk: Joseph Perkell, Ph.D., D.M.D., Boston University
Perspectives on Research in Speech Motor Control
  9:40 AM Invited Talk: Kristina Simonyan, M.D., Ph.D., Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
The Functional Speech Connectome and its Disorders
  10:20 AM Coffee Break SAR101
  10:30 AM Telma Dias dos Santos, University of Toronto
Interlocutor accommodation of gradually altered nasal signal levels in a model speaker
  10:50 AM Hung-Shao Cheng, New York University
The Nature of Learned Speech Motor Representations: Evidence from the Transfer of Learning
  11:10 AM Mark Richardson, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh Neurological Surgery
Subthalamic Nucleus Activity Encodes Aspects of Speech Production
  11:30 AM Sponsored Talk: Bhawna Shiwani, Delsys Inc.
sEMG based Sensor Technologies for Speech Augmentation and Restoration
  11:50 AM Lunch
  1:30 PM Keynote Address with Jessica Huber, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Purdue University
Respiratory Control for Speech
  2:40 PM Coffee Break SAR101
  2:50 PM Kaila Stipancic, M.A., CCC-SLP, MGH Institute of Health Professions
Robust Talkers: Natural Compensation for Impaired Speech Motor Control in a Cohort of Individuals with ALS
  3:10 PM Invited Talk: Carrie Niziolek, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Feedback vs. Feedforward Mechanisms in Typical and Disordered Speech Production
  3:50 PM Invited Talk: Ludo Max, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, University of Washington
Bidirectional Sensorimotor Interactions in Typical Speech and Stuttering
  4:25 PM Announcement of Poster Award Winners SAR101
  4:30 PM Reception and Poster Presentations* CILSE101
  6:00 PM Adjourn

*Note change in venue

Venue and Area Information

Sargent College

Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering

Images courtesy of Boston University

The 2019 Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium will be jointly held at the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and at the Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering (CILSE). Sargent College and CILSE are across the street from one another at the Boston University Charles River Campus.


The official addresses of the venue are:

Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
635 Commonwealth Avenue, Rm. 101
Boston, MA 02215


Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering
610 Commonwealth Avenue, Rm. 101
Boston, MA 02215


All events will occur at Sargent College (SAR101) except the poster reception, which will be held at the Kilachand Center (CILSE101). Both locations are accessible via Storrow Drive, I-90, and public transportation. Many fast-food and sit-down restaurants are available nearby within a <10min walk.

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    Commuting to Boston University

    BSMCS locations are all easily accessible from the Green Line B, C, and D trains via Kenmore station. Several Boston University parking lots as well as street parking options are available for those choosing to drive.





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    Area Overview








    On-campus air-conditioned apartments at 10 Buick St. will be available through BU housing June 20th – June 22nd for those 17 and older. Boston University Housing requires guests to be 22 in order to book a room; please contact BSMCS 2019 coordinators if you have any questions or concerns. For more information on pricing and booking please use this link:  http://stay.bu.edu/bsmcs2019.bnb


    Traveling from 10 Buick St. to Sargent College (click the image below to open a larger version of the map in a new tab):


    Traveling from 10 Buick St. to the Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences and Engineering (click the image below to open a larger version of the map in a new tab):

    Organization and Contact

    Program & Organizing Committee:

    • Cara Stepp
    • Jason Bohland
    • Frank Guenther
    • Christopher Moore
    • Melanie Matthies
    • Jennifer Vojtech
    • Defne Abur
    • Elaine Kearney
    • Saul Frankford

    Questions? Feel free to contact us at bsmcs@bu.edu with any inquiries.