SRCLD 2021 Invited Speakers

Thank you to the following people for shifting gears and giving their time and talents to us and to our virtual symposium!

Brian MacWhinney, PhD,

Brian MacWhinney, PhD, is Teresa Heinz Professor of Psychology, Computational Linguistics, and Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University. His Unified Competition Model analyzes first and second language learning as aspects of a single basic system. He has developed a series of 13 TalkBank open access online databases for the study of language learning, multilingualism, and language disorders. The databases for language disorders include AphasiaBank, ASDBank, DementiaBank, FluencyBank, RHDBank, and TBIBank. These databases provide transcriptions of spoken language linked to audio and video media, along with programs for analysis and linguistic profiling. His other research topics include methods for online learning of second language vocabulary and grammar, neural network modeling of lexical development, fMRI studies of children with focal brain lesions, ERP studies of between-language competition, and the role of embodied perspectival imagery in sentence processing

Session title:

CHILDES and PhonBank Resources for Studying Child Language Development

Leonard Abbeduto, PhD

Leonard Abbeduto, PhD, is the Director of the MIND Institute, the Tsakopoulos-Vismara Endowed Chair, and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Abbeduto’s research is focused broadly on the development of language across the lifespan in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and on the family context for language development.  Dr. Abbeduto has published more than 200 articles, chapters, reviews, and books on fragile X syndrome, autism, Down syndrome, and child development. His program of research has been funded nearly continuously by NIH since 1985. His current research is focused on understanding variation in language outcomes in various conditions associated with intellectual disability, the measurement of treatment effects in clinical trials, and the use of distance technology to deliver behavioral treatment. He serves as Principal Investigator and Director of the NICHD-funded MIND Institute Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC), which provides core support to more than 80 projects and 40 scientists at the UC Davis MIND Institute. Dr. Abbeduto has received numerous awards, including the Emil H. Steiger Award for Distinguished Teaching from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Faculty Stewardship Award from the University of California, Davis, the Enid and William Rosen Research Award from the National Fragile X Foundation, and the Edgard Doll Award for Distinguished Research Contribution from Division 33 of the American Psychological Association. He earned his PhD in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1982. Dr. Abbeduto came to UC Davis in 2011 after 24 years on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Session title:

Rethinking Clinical Trials in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities: Contributions from Language Assessment and Intervention

Haley Vlach, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and director of the Learning, Cognition, & Development (LCD) Lab. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research is on children’s learning and cognitive development. For more information about Haley Vlach’s research, visit the LCD Lab website: Learning, Cognition, & Development Lab Her research examine the mechanisms underlying children’s learning in order to (1) understand cognition and how cognition develops, and (2) build an empirical base for the design of successful educational and health interventions. Her work spans the following cognitive and developmental processes: memory, memory development, word and category learning, concept learning, conceptual development, inductive learning, and generalization/transfer of learning. A central focus is connecting more traditional psychological research to applied settings, such as the design of cognitive interventions and concept learning in the classroom. For more information, please see her lab website: Learning, Cognition, & Development Lab https://edpsych.education.wisc.edu/staff/vlach-haley/

Session title:

Rethinking Difficulty: Cognitive Challenges Support Children's Language Development